Last night at a CNN town hall in Milwaukee, President Biden spoke about student debt.
In response to a question about whether he would favor a $ 50,000 student loan forgiveness per borrower, Biden said he would not support that amount and “wouldn’t make that happen.” . Biden suggested he was against a larger amount of student loan cancellation because it would benefit borrowers who go to more expensive, more elitist private universities, “like Harvard, Yale and Penn.” And he expressed concern that the costs associated with a higher amount of student debt cancellation would make it more difficult to implement other policies, like free community college and early childhood education. childhood.
However, Biden accepted that student debt can be “debilitating.” The president reiterated his support for $ 10,000 in student loan forgiveness, an amount he has consistently supported since his presidential campaign. And he indicated that his administration would support more avenues towards a possible loan forgiveness for borrowers with larger student loan balances, especially for borrowers who volunteer or pursue a career in the public service.
Most notably, Biden has expressed support for capping or even eliminating interest on student loan debt. “We should eliminate the interest on the debts that are accumulating,” he said at the town hall event, although he did not provide a more specific policy proposal. The elimination of interest has become a more and more popular idea among some advocates of student loan borrowers, who argue that the interest cap would dramatically reduce the cost of repayment for millions of borrowers.
On the first day of his term, President Biden issued an executive order extending the interest freeze on federal student loans until September 30, 2021 – suggesting that he is well aware that he has the power to suspend interest.
Nonetheless, Biden’s mayoral statement amounted to a clear repudiation of pressure from Progressive Democrats – including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) – and hundreds of consumer and consumer organizations. civil rights defense to convince him to cancel a $ 50,000 student loan. debt by borrower. Some progressive Democrats have expressed concern over Biden’s comments.
“The case against the cancellation of the student loan seems every day more fragile,” tweeted Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) following Biden’s remarks. “We have the Senate Majority Leader on board to forgive $ 50,000 [in student loans]. Biden is holding back, but many of the arguments against it just don’t hold water after close inspection. We can and must do it. Keep pushing! “
Proponents of a $ 10,000 student loan cancellation argue that a smaller level of forgiveness would target relief toward low-income people. In particular, forgive $ 10,000 in student loans would eliminate all outstanding student loans for over 16 million people, or one-third of all current student loan borrowers, and would reduce the balances of 9 million other student loan borrowers by 50 percent.