Progressive Democrats push Biden to advance plans for student loan forgiveness

The Progressives are pushing President Biden to cancel millions of student loan debts.
Progressives are not letting go of this issue, despite the party's inability to pass a reconciliation bill.

Senator Chuck Schumer has asked the president to cancel $50,000 of federal student loans per borrower.

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Progressive Democrats are pressing President Joe Biden on student loan forgiveness, even as party leaders continue to work to get their multitrillion dollar reconciliation bill passed.

According to the US Federal Reserve, approximately 45 million Americans have $1.7 trillion of student loan debt.

Along with progressive lawmakers and consumer advocates many of those who have taken on this burden want Biden's forgiveness of up to $50,000 per borrower in federally-held student loans.

So far, the president has resisted and questioned whether he has unilateral authority to make such an action.

Biden stated earlier this year that he was ready to forgive $10,000 of student debt. However, large-scale student loan debt restructurings were not included either in the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill passed last March, or in the "human" infrastructure bill, which focuses on childcare, climate policy, and healthcare.

The student loan issue is still front and centre for Washington Representative Pramila Jayapal, who chairs the influential Congressional Progressive Caucus.

"Student debt relief can be good for people as well as the economy. Last Thursday, @POTUS tweeted that the burden of student loan debt can be and must be lifted for 43 million Americans.

Chuck Schumer, Democratic Senate Majority Leader, also press Biden last week on the subject. He claimed that the president can act through his executive powers.

"Today would have been a great day to President Biden, Vice President Harris to #CancelStudentDebt," he tweeted as part of a routine he uses to raise awareness about the issue.

Although broad-based cancellation is gaining momentum among Democrats on Capitol Hill, Schumer has become vocaler about loan forgiveness since Biden was in the White House.

Supporters of the cancellation student debt point out the enthusiasm it would generate among young voters for Democratic candidates in a year where the party is trying to defend its narrow congressional majority.

Thomas Gokey, organizer and cofounder of The Debt Collective, stated that "I think moderates running in tough races. This is going to make a difference for them, regardless of whether or not student loans get canceled."