House Democrats step up pressure on Biden to cancel student debt
Congressional Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives on Thursday introduced a resolution proposing that President-elect Joe Biden commit to cancel up to $ 50,000 in federal student debt for all borrowers by the action of the executive. The resolution, championed by Reps Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) And Alma Adams (DN.C.), does more than describe the moral and economic imperatives of debt relief, but also explains exactly how Biden could do it, making it difficult for him to ignore the proposal.
“The student debt crisis is a matter of racial and economic justice and we must finally start to deal with it as such”, Pressley said in a press release. “Widespread student debt cancellation is precisely the kind of bold, high-impact policy that the broad and diverse coalition that elected Joe Biden and Kamala Harris expects to implement.”
It’s also the kind of bold, high-impact policy that would help absorb some of the financial shock caused by the coronavirus pandemic and Congress’s refusal to act quickly to mitigate its effects. Unemployment is at an all time high and wages have the same purchasing power as they did almost half a century ago, according to Pew Research. These challenges are compounded by the rapid growth in recent years of the for-profit higher education system. As Mic wrote in early December, “University fees Pink by more than 25% between 2008 and 2018. During the same period, student debt in the United States increased by 107%. A 2018 New York Federal Reserve Report find that 44.7 million Americans had student debt, valued at a total of $ 1.47 trillion. ”
From these 44.7 million Americans, two-thirds are women, and the vast majority of those who struggle to repay their loans, even decades after graduating from college, are black and Latin borrowers. This disparate impact plays a central role in the proposal released on Thursday. “The uneven burden of the student debt crisis fell disproportionately on black and Latin borrowers who, due to generations of systemic racism and predatory policies, were excluded from wealth creation and were forced into s ‘get into debt more, more often, just to have the same chance as their white peers “, a press release regarding the proposal says.
Lawmakers argue Biden can turn the tide of classist and racist educational practices through executive action, avoiding a Congress that will likely drag its heels to provide economic relief – especially if Republicans retain their Senate majority. In addition, a majority of Democrats and Republicans Voters are in favor of forgiving up to $ 50,000 in student loan debt for those earning less than $ 125,000 a year, according to Data for Progress.
The legislation comes after a presidential race that presented several proposals to cancel student debt for Democratic candidates, as well as a concrete legislative resolution presented to the Senate by the senses. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) And Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.). In an editorial published by Data for Progress, both senators wrote that debt relief will also act as a much needed economic stimulus. “When Americans cannot participate fully in our economy, we see a ripple effect on our entire economy and slower economic growth,” wrote Warren and Schumer. “This affects all of us, including those of us who don’t have student loans or have already paid off our student debt.”