President Joe Biden made it clear last night that he supports $10,000 student loan relief, not $50,000 as pushed by many Democrats. Responding to a question at a Milwaukee Town Hall organized by CNN, the President said he will not support proposals for student $50,000 debt forgiveness. Additionally, he said he will not make it happen.
Why $50,000 is Too Much for Biden
Biden explained his opposition to a $50,000 amount. He said that an amount that large benefits those who went to more expensive and elite private schools like Ivy League universities. In addition, he expressed concerns that costs to cover a higher amount of student loan relief would make it difficult to find funding for other education policies. This includes his promise to provide free community college and early childhood education.
The President did acknowledge the crippling effect of student loans. This is why he reiterated his support for student loan relief for up to $10,000. This is the amount he promoted during his presidential campaign last year. In addition, he gave hints that for students with larger student loans, he will support other ways to pay off the balance. This targets borrowers who perform volunteer work or those with public service careers. Additionally, Biden wants a cap on or even total removal of interest. The President said that Americans should eliminate interest for accumulating debts. Some agree that capping interest can dramatically lower the cost of repayment for millions of borrowers. During his first day in office, Biden signed an executive order
Progressive Democrats Insist on $50,000
Progressive Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY), Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA), Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), and Ilhan Omar (MN) support the larger amount. Along with consumer and civil rights groups, they continue to push for a $50,000 level per student. Consequently, they express concerns that Biden won’t do much to help their cause.
“There’s very little that the president could do with the flick of a pen that would boost our economy more than canceling $50,000 in student debt. This is one of those things that the president can do on his own,” Schumer said during a conference. “We are not going to let up until we accomplish it. It would be a huge push into our economy,” he added. Meanwhile, Warren also pushes for the maximum. “Canceling student loan debt is the single most effective executive action that President Biden can take to kickstart this economy. Canceling student loan debt is the single most effective executive action that President Biden can take to help close the racial wealth gap. Canceling student loan debt is the single most effective executive action President Biden can take to lift the economic prospects of tens of millions of young Americans,” Warren noted.
AOC Fires A Reply At Biden
Meanwhile, Ocasio-Cortez criticized the President on Wednesday over his town hall comments. She tweeted two points that directly countered Biden’s reason for refusing a $50,000 cap. “1. Who cares what school someone went to? Entire generations of working-class kids were encouraged to go into more debt under the guise of elitism. This is wrong,” she said on Twitter, adding, “2. Nowhere does it say we must trade-off early childhood education for student loan forgiveness. We can have both,” she tweeted Wednesday.
“The case against student loan forgiveness is looking shakier by the day. We’ve got the *Senate Majority Leader* on board to forgive $50k. Biden’s holding back, but many of the arguments against it just don’t hold water on close inspection. We can and should do it. Keep pushing!” she concluded.
Executive Action or Through Congress?
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden is “calling on Congress to draft the proposal,” as he looks forward to signing it. Also, the White House is reviewing its options on using executive action to make student debt relief a reality. Once their nominees for the Justice Department clears the Senate, they will ask for help in conducting a legal review of executive action.
Watch the Yahoo Finance news video that showed President Joe Biden dismissing plans to forgive $50K in student loans:
Do you support student debt relief to help during the pandemic? In addition, do you think student debt relief can pass in Congress, or should Biden go the executive order route? Let us know what you think. Share your comments below.