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Ocasio-Cortez: It was easier to get elected to Congress than pay off student loan debt

Ocasio-Cortez: It was easier to get elected to Congress than pay off student loan debt
© Greg Nash

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezKamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far MORE (D-N.Y.) said this week it was “literally easier” for her to be elected to Congress than it has been for her to pay off her student loan debt.

“I will disclose my personal stake in this fight because I have student loans, too,” the freshman Democrat began during an event on Monday in Washington, D.C., where Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation Clyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts Prepare for buyers' remorse when Biden/Harris nationalize health care MORE (I-Vt.) unveiled a bill calling on the elimination of student debt in the country.

“I think it’s so funny a year ago I was waiting tables in a restaurant and it was literally easier for me to become the youngest woman in American history elected to Congress than it is pay off my student loan debt,” she said.

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“So, that should tell you everything about the state of our economy and the state of quality of life for working people,” she continued. “Because in order for me to get a chance to have health care, in order for me to get a chance to pay off my student loans, I had to do something that was nearly impossible.”

“And I don’t think that that is the bar in which a person should be able to access education, health care and a bevy of other things that should be considered human rights,” the 29-year-old lawmaker added.

During the event on Monday, Sanders, who is running for president, proposed legislation along with progressive Reps. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarBiden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far GOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden eyes new leadership at troubled public lands agency | House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally | Trump administration pushes for rollback of Arctic offshore drilling regulations MORE (D-Minn.) and Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalBiden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks Trump, attorneys step up efforts to reverse election's outcome MORE (D-Wash.) that calls for all of the country’s $1.6 trillion worth of student debt to be eliminated.

If enacted, the measure would call on the federal government to wipe out the student loan debt of nearly 45 million Americans. The bill would also call for universities across the country to admit students into school tuition-free.

Sanders's plan calls for taxes on Wall Street that his campaign says could raise more than $2 trillion over 10 years to pay for the bill.