WASHINGTON — (NEXSTAR/WTVO) As millions of Americans deal with the burden of student loans, democrats are pushing to get some federal loans canceled.
“Take a huge burden off so many people in America,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said.
However, when asked about the possibility of $50k student debt cancellation in a CNN Town Hall event, the president said he will ‘not make that happen.’
“I’m prepared to write off $10,000 debt, but not 50, because I don’t think I have the authority to do it by signing [an executive order],” Biden said.
Now, he’s facing some backlash from his democratic peers who disagree and say he does have the authority.
According to ABC News, Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Sen. Warren doubled down on the issue by releasing a statement on Wednesday, urging Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in debt.
NY Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also spoke out against Biden’s answer on Twitter:
The White House says right now the president is only comfortable with a smaller amount.
“The president has and continues to support canceling $10,000 of federal student loan debt per person as a response to the COVID crisis,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
“If Congress moves forward and sends him a package that, you know, provides $10,000 of student debt relief, he’d be eager to sign that,” Psaki added.
Democrats say the president should use executive authority to cancel federal student loan debt without any tax liability.
“Other presidents have done it. There is legal authority,” Schumer said.
“Canceling student loan debt is the single most effective executive action that President Biden can take to help close the racial wealth gap,” Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren said.
Warren says canceling student loan debt would increase homeownership, improve credit scores, produce jobs, and more.
“Whether you have student loan debt or not, because it is good for our economy,” Warren said.
Republicans, like Iowa senator Joni Ernst, say loan forgiveness is unfair to other Americans.
“We’re going to forgive $50,000, but we’re going to put it on the back of everybody else, I don’t think that is the right avenue,” Ernst said.
Ernst says struggling borrowers should renegotiate interest rates or defer their loans until they are financially stable.