Progressives say Biden student loan pause extension not enough, demand he cancel debt next
Democratic lawmakers demand executive action to remove student debt
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, championed the news Wednesday that President Biden would extend the federal student loan forgiveness period through May 1, 2022.
"This will allow millions of borrowers to breathe a momentary sigh of relief," Jayapal said, calling the move an "excellent and necessary decision."
BIDEN EXTENDS FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PAYMENT PAUSE UNTIL MAY 1
The chairwoman said extending student loan forbearance would not only help those struggling through the continued coronavirus pandemic. She claimed it will "decrease the burden of inflation and keep $7 billion in the economy each month the moratorium continues."
Despite applause from top progressives in the president’s party, Biden still faces pressure to cancel all student debt, a move he has previously opposed.
"The work cannot stop here," Jayapal said. "The administration must now deliver on the President’s promise to cancel student debt, lowering costs for families at a critical time of tremendous health and economic uncertainty."
During his campaign, Biden pledged to forgive $10,000 of student debt per person, though he has yet to do so. And some Democratic lawmakers want him to go even further.
Top Democrats in the upper chamber, like Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, have repeatedly called on the president to eliminate $50,000 student debt through executive order.
BIDEN WANTS STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS FROM CONGRESS, BUT LAWMAKERS URGE HIM TO USE EXECUTIVE ACTION
"I’ve been standing with [Warren], Rep. Ayanna Pressley & more calling on POTUS to act," Schumer tweeted Wednesday. "It’s good he extended the pause on student loan payments amid Omicron — now he needs to #CancelStudentDebt to help close the racial wealth gap and provide relief to so many."
Biden has said he doesn’t support blanket loan cancellations, saying he doesn’t believe it makes sense to grant loan forgiveness to students who attended Ivy League institutions.
Though the president has made moves to erase federal debt for thousands of borrowers with permanent disabilities and has extended previously established student loan forgiveness options.
GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE
Biden has not signaled if or when he plans to uphold his campaign trail promise but has directed the Department of Justice and the Department of Education to review his options when it comes to alleviating student loan debt.
He has also called on Congress to pen a bill that would pave a path to loan forgiveness. But given the contested view on loan forgiveness, lawmakers continue to advocate for executive action instead.