Progressives call for forgiveness on student loans after house passes spending bill
Congressional progressives have stepped up pressure on the Biden administration for a sweeping student debt cancellation order, shifting attention once again to one of their top priorities after the House passed the bill. social spending law Friday.
“Now, let’s help everyone and write off at least $ 50,000 in student loan debt for everyone,” Representative Pramila Jayapal, chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, tweeted on Saturday.
“I will not stop fighting for #CancelStudentDebt,” added Representative Nikema Williams, a Democrat from Georgia.
President Joe Biden has so far resisted calls for a blanket cancellation of student loan debt, which has more than tripled since 2000. With nearly 45 million people receiving bills each month, Americans now owe more than $ 1.8 trillion in student loans, more than the nation’s total debt on auto loans and credit cards.
Lawmakers and progressive advocates pushed the Biden administration to write off a $ 50,000 debt with an executive order, which would erase the debt burden of 36 million people, including around 10 million people in arrears or in default. , according to data from the Ministry of Education. .
âThe pause in student loan payments has enabled millions of borrowers to start a business, participate in our economy and save for the future. Imagine what could happen if borrowers had permanent relief. It’s time to cancel student debt, @POTUSRepresentative Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota, tweeted Friday.
The Democratic-controlled House on Friday passed the social safety net and the $ 1.7 trillion climate bill, which includes $ 555 billion in climate initiatives, funding for child care , universal kindergarten and the extension of health care subsidies.
The lack of student loan cancellations in the sweeping bill has frustrated activists and borrowers alike, who want Biden to honor his campaign pledge to write off up to $ 10,000 in debt. The president has already forgiven $ 9.5 billion for borrowers with disabilities and people who were tricked into attending colleges that are now missing.
Supporters argue that canceling student loan debt would lessen racial and economic inequalities.
In 2019, 10% of student loan borrowers were in default, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Black graduates with a bachelor’s degree are more likely to default than white dropouts. About 32% of black Americans who went to college 10 years ago have since defaulted.
Supporters of canceling student loans have also pointed out that the cost of living has increased at a much faster rate in recent years than the salaries of university graduates.
Critics, however, say it’s unfair to write off student loan debt for wealthier borrowers who graduate from elite universities, such as Yale and Harvard.
In August, the Department of Education announced a final extension of the pandemic-related pause on student loan repayment, interest and collections until January 31, 2022.
The Biden administration asked Education Secretary Miguel Cardona in April to produce a memo describing the president’s legal authority to eliminate student debt. Seven months later, the results have yet to be released despite pressure from progressives.
News week has contacted the White House for comment.