President Joe Biden is reportedly being pressured by the far-left members of his party to use his executive authority to cancel a massive amount of student loan debt – a move which would contribute to the nation’s already exploding national deficit.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Ayanna Pressley on Thursday pushed Biden to use his executive authority to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt for federal student loan borrowers.
The three pressuring Democrats reintroduced a resolution on Thursday which would allow the secretary of education to “cancel up to $50,000 in federal student debt.”
The resolution also calls on Biden to take executive action to “administratively cancel up to $50,000 in Federal student loan debt for Federal student loan borrowers” using “existing legal authorities” under the Higher Education act of 1965.
Furthermore, the resolution “encourages” Biden to use executive authority under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, which would prevent administrative debt cancellation from resulting in a tax liability for borrowers.
The lawmakers also encouraged Biden to “continue to pause” student loan payments and interest for federal student loan borrowers for the “entire duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
More than four dozen Democratic lawmakers in both the House and the Senate joined the resolution on Thursday.
“Student loan debt is weighing down millions of families in New York and across this country,” Schumer said in a statement.
“During a time of historic and overlapping crises, which are disproportionately impacting communities of color, we must do everything in our power to deliver real relief to the American people, lift up our struggling economy and close the racial wealth gap. Democrats are committed to big, bold action, and this resolution to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt is one of the strongest steps the president can take to achieve these goals.”
Warren added that “President Biden can take the single most effective executive action available to provide a massive stimulus to our economy, help narrow the racial wealth gap, and lift this impossible burden off of tens of millions of families” by cancelling the student loan debt.
“President Biden has the legal authority to cancel billions in student debt with the stroke of a pen and he must meet the moment by using that authority, which would not only set us on a path to an equitable recovery, but would also help reduce the racial wealth gap,” Pressley claimed.
On Thursday, though, Schumer said: “President Biden has taken some good steps in the direction of student debt but we think he has to go much further.”
“The bottom line is this is one of those things the President can do on his own,” Schumer said.
Biden has already extended the pause on federal student loan payments and interest through Sept. 30, 2021.
During a White House press briefing Thursday, press secretary Jen Psaki was asked whether the president would support the efforts from congressional Democrats.
Psaki said Biden “has and continues to support canceling $10,000 in student loan debt,” and maintained that he is “calling on Congress to draft a proposal.”
“If it is passed and sent to his desk, he will look forward to signing it,” Psaki said.
In November, when Schumer began pushing for student loan debt cancellation through executive action, Biden said there should be “immediate” congressional action on student loans.
Critics have argued that using such power exceeds the president’s authority granted by Congress.
Canceling student loan debt would also add to the nation’s already-ballooning national deficit, which totaled a record $3.1 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year.