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Schumer calls on Biden to bypass Congress and forgive $50K in student loans per person

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) continues to urge President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenSenate holds longest vote in history as Democrats scramble to save relief bill Ex-Trump appointee arrested in Capitol riot complains he won't be able to sleep in jail Biden helps broker Senate deal on unemployment benefits MORE to make cancelling some student debt a priority once he takes office next year, telling reporters this week that the incoming president could forgive as much as “$50,000 of debt the first day” he assumes power.

“We have come to the conclusion that President Biden can undo this debt, can forgive $50,000 of debt the first day he becomes president,” he said outside his office in Manhattan on Monday, according to CNBC. “You don’t need Congress. All you need is the flick of a pen.” 

The comment comes several months after senate leader introduced a plan alongside Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSenate rejects Sanders minimum wage hike Philly city council calls on Biden to 'cancel all student loan debt' in first 100 days Hillicon Valley: High alert as new QAnon date approaches Thursday | Biden signals another reversal from Trump with national security guidance | Parler files a new case MORE (D-Mass.) calling on whoever won this year's presidential election to use their authority to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt for all borrowers with federal loans.

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In an op-ed published last week co-authored by both senators, they maintain that, “Broad cancellation of student debt would give tens of millions of Americans $200 to $300 more to spend and save each month.”

Over 40 million people across the country are estimated to owe hundreds of millions of dollars in loans. If Biden were to move forward the senators’ proposal and forgive up to $50,000 in student loan for borrowers next year, the student loan debts owed by more than 75 percent of the country’s borrowers would be erased.

At the time Warren and Schumer announced the proposal in September, the Massachusetts Democrat argued the measure would “give a boost” to the nation’s economy as it grapples with the ongoing pandemic. She also said the proposal would help “close the racial wealth gap,” while arguing the Black and Latino students are disproportionately impacted by student debt. 

Schumer also highlighted the wealth gap between minorities and white Americans in his comments on Monday, according to Fox News, while pushing for Biden to cancel student loan debt.

“The Federal Reserve says this would be a huge shot in the arm to the economy,” Schumer reportedly said.

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"College should be a ladder up but student debt makes it an anchor down. For far too many students and graduate students, some years out of school, student loans and federal student loans are becoming a forever burden," the senate leader also said on Monday, according to the news outlet. 

“They stand in the way of people getting the job they want, they stand in the way of buying a home, of starting a family, of buying a car and they hurt our economy dramatically,” he added.

Schumer’s recent remarks add to the growing pressure Biden has fielded from congressional Democrats in recent weeks to take action on student debt.

Biden has previously supported cancelling $10,000 of student loan debt by way of legislation. However, he hasn't yet indicated support for cancelling as much as $50,000 in student loan debt for borrowers, nor doing so through executive action.