Democrats urge Biden to write off up to $ 50,000 in student loan debt through executive action

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Ayanna Pressley on Thursday urged President Biden to use his executive authority to cancel up to $ 50,000 in student loan debt for federal student loan borrowers.

Schumer, DN.Y., Warren, D-Mass., And Pressley, D-Mass., Reintroduced a resolution Thursday, which would allow the Secretary of Education to “write off up to $ 50,000 in federal student debt “.

The resolution also called on Biden to take executive action to “administratively write off up to $ 50,000 in federal student loan debt for federal student loan borrowers” using “existing legal authorities” under the law. higher education of 1965. use executive authority under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, which would prevent the cancellation of administrative debt from causing a tax liability for borrowers.

RELATED: Schumer renews push for Biden to bypass Congress and write off $ 50,000 in student loan debt

Lawmakers also encouraged Biden to “continue to suspend” student loan payments and interest for federal student loan borrowers for “the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

More than four dozen Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate joined the resolution on Thursday.

“Student loan debt weighs on millions of families in New York City and across the country,” Schumer said in a statement. “In a time of historic and overlapping crises that disproportionately impact communities of color, we must do everything in our power to bring real relief to the American people, lift our struggling economy and bridge the gap. racial wealth gap. Democrats have pledged big and bold action, and this resolution to write off up to $ 50,000 in federal student loan debt is one of the strongest steps the President can take to meet those goals. “

Warren added that “President Biden can take the most effective executive action available to massively stimulate our economy, help narrow the racial wealth gap and ease this impossible burden on tens of millions of families” by forgiving the loan debt. student. .

“President Biden has the legal authority to write off billions in student debt with the stroke of a pen and he must face the present moment using that authority, which not only would put us on the path to a fair recovery. , but would also help narrow the racial wealth gap, ”Pressley said.

A file image shows the United States Capitol in Washington, DC (Photo: Getty Images)

Biden, on his first day in office, extended the hiatus on federal student loan payments and interest until September 30, 2021.

On Thursday, however, Schumer said: “President Biden has taken some good steps towards student debt, but we believe he needs to go much further.”

“At the end of the day, it’s one of those things the president can do on his own,” Schumer said. “There’s not much the President can do with the stroke of a pen that will boost our economy more than forgiving $ 50,000 in student debt will be a huge boost to our economy.”

In November, when Schumer began pushing for student loan debt cancellation through executive action, Biden said there should be “immediate” Congressional action on student loans.

“An immediate $ 10,000 student loan forgiveness, helping struggling people over there,” Biden said Monday. “They have to make choices between paying their student loan and paying the rent. Those kinds of decisions.”

RELATED: Suspension of student loan payments extended to September 30 by Biden executive orders

Biden added: “It should be done immediately.”

The official clarified that Biden was referring to congressional action.

Such drastic executive action would almost certainly face a legal challenge, and it is not clear whether it could survive. Critics have argued that the use of such power goes beyond the president’s authority granted by Congress. The cancellation of student loan debt would also add to the country’s already booming national deficit, which totaled a record $ 3.1 trillion in fiscal 2020.

Student loan stocks have doubled over the past decade, reaching nearly $ 1.7 trillion. About one in six American adults owe money on federal student loan debt, which is the largest amount of non-mortgage debt in the United States. It has been cited as a major obstacle to the “economic life” of the people by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

Fox News’s Jon Resnick and Megan Henney contributed to this report. Get updates on this story from foxbusiness.com.

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