Schumer: ‘Biden Legally Has the Authority to Cancel up to $50K in Student Debt Through Executive Action’

Schumer: ‘Biden Legally Has the Authority to Cancel up to $50K in Student Debt Through Executive Action’


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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President Biden has it within his executive power to erase up to $50,000 per borrower in student loan debt, according to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), addressing the racial wealth gap during a virtual roundtable.

While Schumer praised the new president’s actions thus far, he said that Biden could “go further,” citing the student loan forgiveness as an example.

President Biden’s taken a large number of initiatives through executive action, from cancelling the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, to rolling back his predecessor’s Draconian immigration policies, to rejoining the Paris Accords for climate change — and much more.

“One of the amazing things about this is the racial wealth gap. Black and brown communities are search shouldering a larger burden of the student debt. The average black borrower owns more than 100 percent of their loan balance even after 12 years of college,” Schumer said. “So this is not only a problem for the whole country, for the economy, and for students, past and present, and their families, but it’s also part of the reason that we have such a division between black and white and wealth in income. We want to solve all that.

“We believe that President Biden legally has the authority to cancel up to 50,000 [dollars] in student debt through executive action, or flick of a pen that means, Sabrina and Errol and Kendrick and Anthony, you don’t have to go through Congress, you don’t have to worry about all that,” Schumer added, addressing roundtable participants. “He’s done some good things, the president has, but we’d like him to go further. And we know, particularly now with COVID-19 ravaging the economy, so many people out of work, so many people have even more difficulty to pay their debt that we ought to go do this right now.”

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