Warren rushes to Capitol to continue hearing questions after technical difficulties with remote work

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWorld passes 3 million coronavirus deaths Poll: 56 percent say wealth tax is part of solution to inequality Democratic senators call on Biden to support waiving vaccine patents MORE (D-Mass.) on Wednesday rushed to the Capitol in the middle of a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing to continue her questioning of President BidenJoe BidenObama, Clinton reflect on Mondale's legacy Biden, Harris commend Mondale in paving the way for female VP Mondale in last message to staff: 'Joe in the White House certainly helps' MORE’s Education secretary pick, Miguel CardonaMiguel CardonaThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - All US adults can get vaccine; decision Friday on J&J vax Biden accompanies first lady to medical procedure Biden to accompany first lady to appointment for 'common medical procedure' MORE, experiencing technical difficulties trying to work remotely. 

Warren was one of a handful of committee members who opted to participate in the hearing over video chat due to COVID-19 safety concerns, while other senators were present in the room while social distancing. 

Warren first began her line of questioning toward Cardona via Zoom from her D.C. home, opening with, “You were a first-generation college student, and for you and for me, an affordable college education opened a million doors. But today’s students face a very different situation, so I want to talk with you today about student debt.” 


She then outlined statistics on the level of student loan debt in the U.S., including that 43 million people, or 1 in 5 adults, have federal student loan debt, and 40 percent of those with student debt do not have a college degree. 

“Can you just say a word about what that means for them?” Warren asked. 

“Well, what it means is that because they don’t have the college degree, maybe they don’t have the income potential that they would have had and paying these bills will be a larger task and probably a longer process,” Cardona explained. 

After Warren appeared to have not heard Cardona’s answer, she questioned him again, to which Cardona reiterated his response. 

Incoming Committee Chairwoman Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayHouse passes bill to combat gender pay gap Schumer kicks into reelection mode Democrats target Trump methane rule with Congressional Review Act MORE (D-Wash.) said that Warren seemed to be “having connection problems,” and that they would come back to her once the issues were resolved. 


About 50 minutes later, Murray returned to Warren, though this time the Massachusetts senator appeared in-person to continue her questions. 

It was not immediately clear how Warren traveled to the hearing room from her home, and her office did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for additional details. 

I’m reminded by this how difficult it is right now for our students and for our teachers who are having to deal with technical glitches that interrupt their education every day, and why this package is so important to get the resources in to our schools so we can get those schools open for learning for all of our kids and persons,” the former economics professor said.

Warren on Thursday, along with Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck Schumer'Real Housewives of the GOP' — Wannabe reality show narcissists commandeer the party 'Building Back Better' requires a new approach to US science and technology Pew poll: 50 percent approve of Democrats in Congress MORE (D-N.Y.), led a group of other Democratic lawmakers in reintroducing a plan calling on Biden to instruct the Education secretary to use provisions of the Higher Education Act and forgive up to $50,000 in debt per borrower.

It also asks Biden to order the IRS to waive taxes on the canceled loans, since forgiven debt is typically treated as taxable income in the U.S.

—Updated at 10:32 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11