In a letter sent to Old Uncle Joe this past Tuesday, a group of over 80 Democratic lawmakers petitioned the president to sign an order to cancel “up to $50,000 of student loan debt per borrower.”
The document in question, which sported the signature of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), stated by issue thanks to Biden for the extension of the student loan pause, which was done back in December, and then the letter requested that he permanently cancel federal student loan debt.
“As you continue to evaluate the best way forward to an equitable recovery [from COVID-19], we urge you to direct the Department of Education to publicly release the memo outlining your legal authority to broadly cancel federal student loan debt and immediately cancel up to $50,000 of student loan debt per borrower,” stated the letter.
Additionally, Democratic lawmakers said that this move would end up providing relief to over 36 million Americans. They also seemed to suggest that student loan payments would resume again but did not issue a timetable for when that could possibly happen. “In light of the high COVID-19 case counts and corresponding economic disruptions, restarting student loan payments without this broad cancellation would be disastrous for millions of borrowers and their families,” wrote the Democratic lawmakers.
Back in December, the White House froze all payments on student loans until the first of May. At that time, The New York Times issued a report that this choice affected over 41 million borrowers, which included the almost 27 million people who had not made a single payment since March of 2020.
“While our jobs recovery is one of the strongest ever — with nearly six million jobs added this year,” stated Biden in a release following the student loan freeze. “We know that millions of student loan borrowers are still coping with the impacts of the pandemic and need some more time before resuming payments.”
Biden, while on the campaign trail, made the idea of student loan forgiveness a hallmark of his plan, taking time to promise in March of 2020 to forgive “a minimum of $10,000 per person.”
Additionally, we should forgive a minimum of $10,000/person of federal student loans, as proposed by Senator Warren and colleagues. Young people and other student debt holders bore the brunt of the last crisis. It shouldn't happen again.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) March 22, 2020
This past month, Vice President Kamala Harris joined in on the calls for student loan forgiveness, reported The Daily Wire. “So, I know that Sec. (Miguel) Cardona, the Secretary of Education, is working on what we can do and must do frankly to relieve the — the pressures of student loan debt, and it’s a real issue,” claimed Harris as part of an interview on “Face the Nation” with Margaret Brennan.
“Students across — well graduates and former students across our country are literally making decisions about whether they can have a family, whether they can buy a home,” she went on. “And it’s no small matter, and we need to figure out a way to relieve debt.”
This letter to the President also put forth the argument that canceling student loans would help “close the racial and gender gap,” highlighting black communities that have been “borne out of generations of discriminatory policies.”
“Due to systemic barriers, Black, Latino and Native American borrowers are more likely to struggle with repayment and consequently default on their loans at higher rates,” concluded the letter.