Ocasio-Cortez makes student loan payment during House panel hearing on school debt

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSuper PAC head spars with CNN's Cuomo over Ocasio-Cortez ad Young insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight Ocasio-Cortez endorses Markey in Senate race amid speculation over Kennedy candidacy MORE (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday made a point at a hearing on student loans by making a payment on her own student debt.

During Tuesday’s hearing of the House Financial Services Committee, the freshman lawmaker opened her remarks by saying she had just made a student loan payment while in the hearing.

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"I literally made a student loan payment while I was sitting here at this chair, and I looked at my balance, and it was $20,237.16," she said. "I just made a payment that took me down to $19,000 so I feel really accomplished right now."

Ocasio-Cortez lamented the student loan burden that affects more than 42 million Americans, totaling nearly $1.5 trillion in debt, with the number still growing.

“I look at all the things that are going on right here and article after article,” she said, pointing to several news articles detailing corruption in the Department of Education and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “This is our job.”

 

Ocasio-Cortez has previously said it was “literally easier” for her to be elected to Congress than it has been to pay off her student loan debt.

Student loan debt has drawn increased scrutiny in recent years, and a number of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have proposed plans to wipe out or significantly curb the debt.

The committee’s hearing Tuesday aimed to discuss ways to address the growing national student loan debt and featured testimony from advocates and experts, including comedian Hassan Minhaj.

Minhaj’s Netflix show “Patriot Act” dedicated an episode to exploring the underlying causes of widespread student loan debt and potential solutions to the issue.

“This issue is sidelining millions of Americans,” Minhaj said at the hearing. “Marriage, kids, homeownership and retirement are all being put on hold because of the crisis.”