Top line

Congressional Democrats on Thursday reintroduced a resolution Calling on President Biden to write off $ 50,000 in federal student loan debt via executive action – the initiative has been a top priority for progressives for months, but there is no guarantee Biden will move it forward.

Highlights

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) And more 50 other lawmakers signed the resolution.

Schumer, Warren and other progressives have argued that Biden has the power to use executive power to cancel loans without congressional approval, but Trump administration lawyers have already said that the move would be illegal.

Last fall, Schumer and Warren cited a Harvard Law School analysis that concluded that the president is legally empowered to order the Secretary of Education to write off federal student loan debt without separate congressional approval.

Warren said Thursday she estimated the measure would cost around $ 650 billion, but added the cancellation would be a “big positive” for the economy in the long run.

Crucial quote

“Canceling student loan debt is the most effective executive step President Biden can take to get the economy going,” Warren said at a press briefing Thursday. “Canceling student debt is good for you whether or not you have student debt, because it’s good for our economy. “

Large number

$ 1.5 trillion. How much is federal student loan borrowers due in total as of September 2020. Lawmakers have noted that a disproportionate portion of this debt burden falls on people of color.

Key context

The Biden administration called on Congress to pass legislation that would write off federal student loan debt, but only up to $ 10,000. The sweeping $ 1.9 trillion bailout he proposed does not include this provision. On the first day of his tenure, Biden signed an executive order extending forbearance from federal student loans until the end of September. “President Biden has made some good steps towards student debt, but we believe he needs to go much further,” Schumer said Thursday.

What to watch out for

Asked about Biden’s position on canceling student loans at a briefing Thursday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden “has and continues to support the cancellation of $ 10,000 of federal student loan debt per person “. Psaki added, “He’s already taken a step into executive action on day one, and he would look to Congress for the next step.”

Further reading

What the New Student Loan Cancellation Stimulus means (Forbes)

Biden to extend student loan hiatus and moratorium on evictions on day one (Forbes)

Report: Trump lawyers say it is illegal to forgive student loans through executive action (Forbes)

Biden’s student loan cancellation plan would do next to nothing to boost economy, says Goldman (Forbes)


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