Statement of Alexis Goldstein, AFR’s Senior Policy Analyst, in response to President Biden’s
comments on student debt cancellation at the Milwaukee, Wisconsin Town Hall:
President Biden’s Racial Economic Equity campaign plan called for an “immediate cancellation of a minimum of $10,000 in federal student loan debt.” Nearly a year into the pandemic, with millions of jobs lost the case for far more than $10,000 of debt cancellation has only become clearer. Cancellation is urgently needed to provide relief to 44 million borrowers, their families, and their neighborhoods, and to boost to Black and Latino wealth. We join Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Elizabeth Warren; Representatives Pressley, Adams, Bowman, Jones, Omar, and Torres; and Chairwoman Waters and the more than fifty other members of Congress in calling for $50,000.
President Biden is uniquely positioned to immediately bring real relief to student loan borrowers and their families as the public health and economic emergency continues. We urge the President-Elect to use all available tools to provide badly needed overall economic stimulus and relief to Black and Latino families.
We are a part of a large and growing coalition of over 325 organizations asking President Biden to cancel student debt through executive action. The legal authority to cancel student debt administratively is clear. Student debt cancellation through executive action is a unique tool the government has to provide relief to millions of borrowers with the second-largest form of consumer debt. That’s because four out of every five dollars of federal student loans are held by the government. We are eager to work with the White House and the Department of Education to make federal student debt cancellation via executive action a reality.