Biden Shuts Down $50K Student Debt Idea in 6 Words

President Joe Biden at town hall in Pabst Theater in Milwaukee Wisconsin

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden took part in CNN's town hall, and he's once again expressed his apprehension regarding canceling student loan debt. CNBC runs down some other numbers, too, including these: If $50,000 were indeed erased for all federal student loan borrowers, the student loan debt balance would shrink by $1 trillion, to $700 billion, and 80% of federal student loan borrowers (that's 36 million people) would emerge with zero debt.

"The current options for borrowers have proved to be inadequate and illusionary", they added.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. In December, Biden remarked it would be "unlikely" he would use executive power for debt forgiveness. As many as one in five Federal student loan borrowers are in default. "Because I don't think I have the authority to do it by signing the pen".

"I will not make that happen", Biden said after a member of the audience said his proposal to cancel $10,000 per borrower doesn't go far enough.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday that the plan would require counsel from the Justice Department to make a recommendation on Biden's legal authority.

"In terms of student debt that's accumulated, is provide for changing the existing system now for debt forgiveness if you engage in volunteer activity", said Biden.

Though, during his campaign for the presidency, Biden did say that he supports canceling up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt and he reiterated that during the town hall. On Wednesday (February 17), Schumer and Warren stated that they're "confident" that Biden will ultimately agree with experts "who have concluded that the administration has broad authority to immediately deliver much-needed relief to millions of Americans".

The attorneys general on Friday also called Biden to action on behalf of "defrauded students", pressing him on a point of racial justice, which he has said will be among the aims of his administration.

"Misperceptions that higher education graduates are all from elite institutions are pervasive, and do not help educate the public about the value of postsecondary education", says Fenaba Addo, an associate professor who studies student loan debt at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Amid broader considerations for reigniting the economy during the pandemic, the attorneys general suggested the proposed measure "would help remedy predatory practices that have disproportionately harmed people of color, boost our struggling economy, and create a viable future for millions of Americans".

Ocasio-Cortez said in a second tweet, "The case against student loan forgiveness is looking shakier by the day".

"Black women hold the most degrees of any women and also the most student loan debt". An analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of NY in 2019 found that Black students are more likely to take out loans for college and that Black borrowers tend to have higher student debt loads.

Biden made the comments during a presidential townhall hosted by CNN. Forty-eight percent of Black students owe an average of 12.5% more than they borrowed only four years after graduation.

The opposing argument is that cancelling student debt is a type of federal spending, and only Congress has "the power of the purse".

But the Trump administration, in its waning days in office, issued a legal opinion concluding the department lacks the authority to wipe out large amounts of debt without congressional approval.

"I$3 t's extremely classist and racist to assume that only rich people can get into "elite" schools", said one user.

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