Warnock says he’s meeting with Biden to push for student loan forgiveness
Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) on Wednesday said he’ll be meeting with President Biden to push for student loan debt forgiveness that will be enough “to actually make a difference.”
“I’m meeting with the president later today, and I’m going to push him on this issue. Everywhere I go in Georgia, students and families talk to me about the crush of student debt,” Warnock told The Hill. “And, in this time in which I’m focused on providing relief for families that are feeling the pressure, this couldn’t come sooner.”
His comments come after Politico reported last week that Warnock, along with Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), had reached out to White House on the matter, following reports that it was considering using executive action to approve at least $10,000 in forgiveness per borrower.
Warnock said later on Wednesday that Warren and Schumer will also be in attendance at the meeting.
The outlet reported that the lawmakers were pressing for a meeting with Biden to hold off temporarily on any potential action on student loans to push for more significant action.
The Hill has reached out to Warren’s and Schumer’s offices for comment.
In remarks to The Hill on Wednesday, Warren declined to discuss the matter, saying, “I’m not gonna talk about private meetings.” However, Warren said she is still calling on the White House to set its sights higher.
“I’m urging the White House to cancel $50,000 in student loan debt because it gives the greatest return for the most folks who struggle,” she said, adding, “This is a racial equity issue, it is a gender equity issue, and it is an issue about what kind of America we want to build.”
Asked if he supports calls to cancel $50,000, Warnock said, “I’d love to see him do that.”
“We certainly need to do more than $10,000,” he said.
Biden supported canceling at least $10,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower during his 2020 presidential campaign, though many in his party have called for him wipe out the debt entirely.
According to The Washington Post, the White House has also been looking at applying limits to borrowers eligible for potential forgiveness by income, as Republicans went into attack mode over the forgiveness, which they argue is unfair and will be an extra burden to taxpayers.
Pressed by reporters about his stance on means testing Wednesday, Warnock said he’d be “open” to the idea.
This story was updated at 3:42 p.m.