Thursday, 25 February, 2021

Biden to review his authority to cancel student debt - WH

Biden separates self from Dem call to erase $50G in student loan debt Senate Democrats’ push for President Biden to forgive $50,000 in student loans would make 36 million debt-free
Gustavo Carr | 20 February, 2021, 17:10

"Canceling 50,000 in federal student loan debt will help close the racial wealth gap, benefit 40% of borrowers who do not have a college degree and help stimulate the economy", Mr. Schumer and Ms. Warren said in a joint statement Wednesday.

Biden had other plans to extend debt relief to some Americans according to different criteria, but many on the left angrily denounced him for not supporting a blanket relief for all student debt up to $50,000.

The statement by Biden comes as another blow to loan cancellation efforts from liberal politicians including Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of MA and New York Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

He later told CNN during a town hall that he would "not make that happen".

Such a plan would likely face a hard path in Congress where even some moderate Democrats and almost all Republicans have opposed sweeping forgiveness of student loans.

President Biden indicated on Tuesday that writing off $50,000 in student debt is not something that he believes can be "done with presidential action", but said he is prepared to eliminate $10,000 for students.

Biden's administration will likely work to provide partial student debt relief specifically directed at students who took out loans to attend public colleges, rather than expensive private ones, White said.

The timeline offered is the latest indication of discomfort that the Biden White House has with calls to move swiftly and aggressively on student debt forgiveness.

Cruz on vacation in Mexico as storm slams Texas
In Austin, some hospitals faced a loss in water pressure and in some cases, heat. Congress is not in session this week following the President's Day holiday.

Recently, Sen. Elizabeth Warren(D-MA), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) held a press conference in support of a resolution calling on Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt using executive authority. Biden officials confirmed January 8 that the president supports canceling $10,000 in student debt per person as part of his COVID-19 relief plan.

"The President has and continues to support canceling $10,000 of federal student loan debt per person as a response to the Covid crisis", Psaki said at a briefing this month.

Amid broader considerations for reigniting the economy during the pandemic, the attorneys general suggested the proposed measure "would help remedy predatory practices that have disproportionately harmed people of color, boost our struggling economy, and create a viable future for millions of Americans".

Some college students and recent graduates are hopeful that President Joe Biden might promote federal student debt forgiveness.

"We've got the *Senate Majority Leader* on board to forgive $50k", said Ocasio-Cortez, who is a potential primary threat to Schumer in his reelection bid next year.

And so her advice for President Biden the next time he's asked about this issue?

Senate Democrats and the Legal Services Center of Harvard University have each pointed to 20 U.S.C. § 1082 (a), which notes that the Secretary of Education (Biden's nominee is Dr. Miguel Cardona) can (placing emphasis) "enforce, pay, compromise, waive, or release any right, title, claim, lien, or demand, however acquired, including any equity or any right of redemption".

"We remain confident that this is something the president can do by executive action", she said, adding that the $10,000 level should be a starting point, not a ceiling. Struggling borrowers are unable to obtain meaningful relief in bankruptcy because under current law, Federal student loans are not dischargeable except under extremely narrow circumstances. Many borrowers already owed more than they originally borrowed. Households with student debt tend to have the least amount of wealth, federal data shows. An Education Department spokesperson on Wednesday declined to say whether the Trump administration's memo remained in force at the agency or whether it would be rescinded.