Ocasio-Cortez urges Biden to cancel student debt: “He doesn’t need Manchin’s permission for this”
After President Biden unveiled his roughly $ 1.75 trillion budget plan on Thursday, which set aside a number of progressive priorities and policy goals Democrats had been pushing, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the time had come to push him to provide student debt relief.
The broad economic package aimed at providing a social safety net for families and reforming the nation in key areas such as climate, health care and education, has been significantly reduced from its original proposal of 3,500 billion dollars largely to meet the demands of Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe. Manchin – whom Biden has yet to convince to get on board.
Ocasio-Cortez expressed dissatisfaction with the social spending plan – also known as the Build Back Better Act – later that evening and specifically called out Manchin.
“I think that given [Build Back Better] has been cut, there are more opportunities than ever to pressure Biden to cancel student loans, âOcasio-Cortez said in an Instagram story.
She pointed to Manchin, whose opposition forced Biden to eliminate some of his administration’s main plans, such as granting paid leave to millions of workers and measures to aggressively lobby for an energy own.
âHe doesn’t need Manchin’s permission for this and now that his agenda is minced he needs to step up his executive action game and show his commitment to delivering to people,â Ocasio-Cortez said. âWe have to get there. “
The U.S. Department of Education is expected to resume monthly student loan payments in February 2022 after an extended moratorium by Biden expired in August. The relief measures – including freezing interest and deferring collections on most federal student loans – have been in effect since March 2020, when the pandemic first hit the country.
“We must organize and prepare actions now [because] the showdown will take place in late January, when payments are “supposed to” resume, “Ocasio-Cortez said.
Although some new forms of higher education aid have been included in the reduced package introduced by Biden, namely the increase in the maximum Pell grant of $ 550 for millions of students in need and the investment at historically black colleges and universities, the free community college did not make the final draw. plank.
Members of the Progressive Caucus – including Massachusetts Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey and Rep. Ayanna Pressley – have repeatedly called for the cancellation of debt of up to $ 50,000 for federal student loan borrowers while Biden was in office.
âThe major overhaul of the PSLF announced by the administrator of Biden will be of great help to civil servants. To really fix this broken system, @POTUS should #CancelStudentDebt“, added the senator.
Although the Biden administration said it canceled more than $ 11.5 billion in student loans for specific groups of borrowers, the president broke his promise he made during the election campaign. write off $ 10,000 in debt for all borrowers. Democrats in Congress have insisted he can eliminate student loan debt with an executive order.
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said Biden was investigating his “legal authority” to do so last spring, and the president asked Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to create a note examining both forgiveness of debt up to $ 50,000 and forgiveness of student loans. That memo has yet to be released, and earlier this month Ocasio-Cortez and more than a dozen of his colleagues urged the administration to do so in a letter.
Cardona said earlier this week that “conversations continue” about canceling the loan.