Democrats urge Biden to move forward on canceling student loan debt – The Virginian-Pilot

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and fellow Democrats Elizabeth Warren and Raphael Warnock proposed to President Joe Biden to go big with student loan forgiveness during a meeting at the White House on Wednesday.

The three Democrats, who led the effort in the Senate, support $50,000 in student debt relief, five times what Biden has indicated he will support.

“I push him to do it in a way that helps Georgians that I meet every day,” said Warnock, who is running for re-election in a hotly contested race for his seat in Georgia.

Warnock said Biden “is receptive to having this done.”

After the meeting, the trio of Democrats had an intense private conversation on the Senate floor.

Warren, who has made student debt forgiveness a mainstay of his 2020 presidential campaign, looked flustered as Schumer continued to shake his head.

Warren would not comment on the discussion with Biden, but said afterwards that she was still pushing for $50,000 in student loan debt to be forgiven for each individual.

“I want to see the maximum amount of debt relief possible,” Warren said in an interview. “Fifty thousand dollars would bring immediate relief to tens of millions of families.”

Warren previously said the amount would do the most to close the wealth gaps between races and genders.

While Democrats generally favor canceling at least some of the debt, Republicans oppose it.

A group of GOP senators led by Mitt Romney of Utah introduced legislation on Wednesday that would bar the administration from canceling student loan debt.

“This decision would not only be unfair to those who have already paid off their loans or decided to pursue alternative education paths, but it would be extremely inflationary in an era of already historic inflation,” Romney said in a statement.

With legislation to erase loans from the books unlikely, advocates have turned to the White House for relief.

Biden said he was considering a discount of at least $10,000, but not up to $50,000. The White House has signaled that people earning more than $125,000 a year are unlikely to be eligible.

But the president has not made a decision on many details of the plan, including how much debt to write off per borrower, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

And although White House officials have been debating internally the outlines of a pardon program for more than a year, there is no real consensus on the best way forward.


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