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17 state attorneys general call for canceling $50K in student loan debt

A coalition of 17 state attorneys general is calling for the cancellation of up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt for all borrowers.

The Democratic attorneys general, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healeysent a letter to congressional leaders on Friday supporting resolutions that call on President BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrats pass sweeping .9T COVID-19 relief bill with minimum wage hike Biden to hold virtual bilateral meeting with Mexican president More than 300 charged in connection to Capitol riot MORE to use executive action to forgive outstanding student loans.

“The existing repayment system for Federal student loans provides insufficient opportunity for struggling borrowers to manage their debts or recover from the current economic crisis,” the attorneys general wrote. “Broad cancellation of Federal student loan debt will provide immediate relief to millions who are struggling during this pandemic and recession, and give a much-needed boost to families and our economy.”

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The letter noted that borrowers were struggling with student debt long before the coronavirus pandemic, and that people of color have been disproportionately affected.

The congressional resolutions, the state attorneys general said, “would help remedy predatory practices that have disproportionately harmed people of color, boost our struggling economy, and create a viable future for millions of Americans.”

The letter comes as progressives increase public pressure on Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt. The president said during a CNN town hall on Tuesday that he was prepared to write off up to $10,000 in debt, but not $50,000.

It’s unclear exactly how much executive authority Biden has on this issue. The White House has previously said it was reviewing the president's powers, though Biden has indicated he would rather sign legislation passed by Congress that eliminates some student debt.