Warren urges Biden to write off student loan debt before midterm: ‘The power is clearly there’

Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren on Sunday renewed her efforts to get President Biden to set aside billions of dollars in student loan debtsaying the measure would take the burden off tens of millions of borrowers while boosting Democrats’ chances of retaining their Senate and House majorities in November’s midterm elections.

Appearing on “Face the Nation,” Warren insisted the White House has the power to write off student debt in part because it has already done so for some borrowers, including through a forgiveness program for people working in the public service.

“Listen, we know the president has the power to cancel student loan debt and the best way we know that is because President Obama did it, President Trump did it, and President Biden did it. ‘did repeatedly. The power is clearly there,’” she said.

Warren said 40% of borrowers don’t have a college degree and can be stuck with huge debts despite not having graduated.

“These are people who tried, but life happened: pregnancy, they had three jobs, their mother got sick, they had to move to another city. And now they earn like a high school graduate, but they try to manage college loan debt and it crushes them,” she said.

Canceling student debt has been one of Warren’s main goals in recent years. She repeatedly pushed the Biden administration to extend the student loan payment pause during the pandemic and published new data this month showing that canceling $50,000 in student loans per person would wipe out all debt for 36 million borrowers, or 84% of those with loans. Last week, she discussed her proposal in a New York Times op-ed, where she explained how her party could avoid disaster in the upcoming midterm elections.

“Democrats win when Democrats connect with the American people and what happens to them,” she said Sunday. “Today we have people queuing to get groceries and having to choose what to send back because they can’t afford to pay. We have millions of people across this country who say they are not ready for the resumption of their student loan payments, that they simply cannot handle the burden of these loans.

Mr Biden has previously said he wants to forgive $10,000 in student loan debt, although he appeared hesitant to move forward without congressional action.

Opponents of Warren’s plan to write off student debt say it would contribute to already record inflation. The senator disagrees.

“As President Biden himself says, the way we deal with inflation is not to make people poorer,” she said. “The way we manage inflation is that we attack high prices head-on, [such as] inflation of prices. We’re straightening out the supply chain so goods can get to people. We attack it head-on, not by trying to impoverish people. Canceling student debt is something that would be good for people across the country and, more importantly, good for our economy as a whole. »

Borrowers owe more than $1.7 trillion in student loans, according to the Federal Reserve. This is the second largest amount of US household debt, behind mortgages. The burden has forced many young Americans to postpone major financial decisionslike buying a house, saving for retirement and having children, a study revealed last week.

Warren said he’s confident Democrats can deliver results over the next six months before voters head to the polls.

“We have to be out there to fight, and what we have to fight for are the things that directly affect American families,” she said. “People are counting on us and we can’t just sit back and play politics. We have to fight on behalf of the American people. And that means people struggling with student debt, people struggling with prices, people who are worried about this pandemic.

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