Down Debt

Schumer: Biden can – and should – write off $ 50,000 in student debt


THROUGH Sydney lake20 October 2021, 18:04

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks at a press conference, as seen in October 2021. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images)

There have been gradual moves to write off student debt since President Joe Biden took office, and his administration has already canceled about $ 11 billion in loans for hundreds of thousands of borrowers ranging from defrauded students, Americans with disabilities and government officials. This amount is hardly an oversight on the student loan radar, however. More than 43 million student loan borrowers still have a growing debt of $ 1.7 trillion.

Top Democrats have long called for massive debt cancellation for Biden and the Education Department. On October 15, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer renewed his call for $ 50,000 for debt cancellation per borrower at an event titled “Scared to Debt” hosted by the Casden Institute of the University of Southern California.

“Student debt makes it harder to achieve the American dream – the sacred promise that if you work hard, if you play by the rules, you will one day be successful here in America,” he said at the event. “When people have to pay off student debt, sometimes they have to postpone buying a house, buying a car, getting married, or even practicing the profession in which they want to practice.”

The Democrats’ Position on Student Debt Cancellation

Like Schumer, some leading Democrats believe student debt is crippling and hinders the American dream. They also argue that it is about diversity, equity and inclusion.

“For generations, higher education has been a ladder to the middle class, especially for black, Latino and Asian Americans,” Schumer said at the event. “But today, student debt is an anchor that weighs too much on many.”

Schumer and Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, pushed Biden to write off up to $ 50,000 in student loan debt per borrower. They also argue that Biden can achieve this far-reaching action through an executive order.

“We actually have nothing to do with Congress,” Warren said at a welcome meeting in Northampton, Mass. On September 12, according to WWLP, a local news network. “The President of the United States has the power to cancel student loan debt himself. “

“In the blink of an eye, President Biden could write off $ 50,000 in student loan debt and give millions and millions of student loan borrowers new life,” Schumer agreed at the Oct. 15 event. .

However, Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi don’t believe it’s so easy to write off this debt. Rather, they say the massive student loan cancellation, as suggested by Schumer, Warren, other Democrats, and debt cancellation supporters, must be achieved by law of Congress.

While Biden does not agree with the steps needed to achieve a massive student loan forgiveness, he is not entirely against it, as evidenced by the targeted student loan cycles so far this year and one. statement he made earlier this year.

“I am ready to write off a debt of $ 10,000, but not [$50,000] because I don’t think I have the power to do it by signing “an executive order,” Biden said at a town hall in February 2021.

Student loan cancellation this year

In early October, Biden announced the latest round of student loan cancellations, a major overhaul of the Public Service Loan Cancellation Program (PSLF). The changes to the program will help 22,000 borrowers representing approximately $ 1.74 billion in student loan debt as of this month. Another 27,000 eligible public service workers could be cut $ 2.8 billion if they meet certain requirements.

Prior to the PSLF overhaul announcement, Biden had canceled $ 9.5 billion in student loans via four rounds of cancellations targeting two main groups of borrowers: Americans with total and permanent disabilities and people who frequented institutions that no longer exist. More forgiveness rounds for borrowers who have applied for a defense loan discharge – students who attended institutions that participated in deceptive or illegal practices – could be falling, Mark Kantrowitz, author of How to Appeal for More College Financial Aid, said previously Fortune.

“I think it’s very likely that the Biden administration will continue to take action regarding the targeted loan cancellation,” he said.

Until then, Democrats like Schumer will continue the fight for the massive cancellation of student loans. At the October 15 event, Schumer even referred to the origin of his dedication to the fight to end student debt.

“My deep anchoring in Jewish values ​​informs my actions every day. The student debt crisis is no different, ”he said. “We need justice, justice, justice for the millions of Americans chained to crushing debt.”

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