Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez continues her push to persuade President Joe Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt.
The progressive Democrat said they need to keep the pressure on President Biden to unilaterally cancel billions of dollars in student debt adding whether or not the White House follows through “comes down to public pressure.”
“The Biden admin NEEDS to be pushed,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote during an Instagram Q&A on Tuesday night according to Fox News. “They have said they’re comfortable with $10K in forgiveness but we NEED at least $50K minimum and there is support for 50K.”
Biden has acknowledged that student loan debt forgiveness is necessary, but has pushed to forgive only $10,000 as part of the coronavirus relief effort. Biden has put a freeze on student loan payments through the end of September. Ocasio-Cortez acknowledges that’s a step in the right direction, but it’s not enough.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) joined Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Vernon Jones (D-Ga. and Alma Adams (D-N.C.) have introduced a resolution calling on Biden to cancel $50,000 in student loan debt through an executive order.
“Canceling student loan debt is the single most effective executive action that President Biden can take to kickstart this economy,” Warren said.
According to the group, Biden can use existing executive authority under the Higher Education Act to order the Department of Education to waive or release student loans.
Those who opposed the effort believe canceling student loans will mostly help wealthy Americans. A paper published by the University of Chicago shows the cancellation of student loan debt would distribute $192 billion to the top 20% of earners, but just $29 billion for the bottom 20%.
Republican lawmakers also point to the fact that cancelling student debt would add to the country’s deficit, which totaled more than $3 trillion for 2020 and that doesn’t include the $900 billion relief package passed in December.