Biden tells Chuck Schumer to 'go ahead' with calls for $50,000 in student-debt cancellation

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Chuck Schumer capitol
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images
  • Biden told Chuck Schumer to keep the pressure on to cancel $50k in student debt, Schumer said.

  • Biden is reluctant to cancel that amount, saying he does not think he has the executive authority.

  • But Democrats say borrowers need immediate relief through $50,000 in student debt forgiveness each.

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Democratic lawmakers have been keeping the pressure on President Joe Biden to cancel $50,000 in student debt per borrower. Biden just told a top Democrat to keep the calls coming.

Student Debt Crisis, an advocacy organization, led an event on Wednesday to urge Biden to take action on the $1.7 trillion student-debt crisis. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren - two leading lawmakers on the issue of debt cancellation - joined the event and said they had met with Biden on the issue and told him they'd be unrelenting in their push to get student debt forgiven.

"We said, 'We're going to keep at it until you do this,' and to his [Biden's] credit, he said, 'Go ahead.' He's talked about 10 thousand - that's not enough," Schumer said during the event. "We're keeping the pressure on him."

The comment reported by Schumer is one of the few Biden has made that indicates he might be willing to cancel $50,000 in student debt. Since the start of his presidency, he has remained firm in his stance that he does not have the executive authority to cancel that amount, and although he has asked the Education and Justice Departments to review his ability to do so, no timeline has been given for when those reviews will be completed.

The $10,000 in debt cancellation that Schumer mentioned comes from a Biden campaign promise. Insider previously reported that while Biden said he would support cancelling $10,000 in student debt, he has not yet followed through on that promise, and the future of any form of debt cancellation is uncertain given that it wasn't mentioned in his infrastructure plan or his recent budget proposal.

However, the president has taken some steps to address the student-debt crisis. He expanded the pause on student-loan payments through September, and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona has cancelled billions in debt for borrowers defrauded by for-profit schools and borrowers with disabilities.

But Schumer, Warren, and other Democrats want Biden to go big on debt cancellation, and they believe he can cancel $50,000 in debt now with "the stroke of a pen."

"The time is now," Warren told Insider on Tuesday. "We know what the problem is: student loan debt is holding back tens of millions of people across this country. People who can't buy homes, people who can't buy cars, people who can't start small businesses. We need to cancel that student loan debt, not only for those people individually, but for our whole economy."

Read the original article on Business Insider

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