Pressley, Warren and Healey team up to push Biden to cancel student loan debt
Three of Bay State’s most powerful women have joined forces to push President Biden to eliminate up to $ 50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower as the White House weighs its options.
“We are all here to call on President Biden to do the right thing by the movement that elected him,” said U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley, adding that student debt cancellation is “essential to a recovery fair, robust and equitable of this pandemic. . “
Pressley, US Senator Elizabeth Warren and state Attorney General Maura Healey separately asked Biden to sign a federal student loan cancellation. On Thursday, they looked for strength in numbers to send their message straight to the top.
“The president has the power to make this change today,” Healey said. “And this is so important because we cannot allow families to be pushed further and further back in the possibility of building their future.”
Biden had previously rejected calls by Progressive Democrats and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., to cut up to $ 50,000 per borrower, and suggested $ 10,000 instead.
But Thursday, White House chief of staff Ronald Klain says Politico that Biden “didn’t make a decision one way or the other” and asked Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to write a note on the president’s legal authority to write off loan debt students.
“It’s awesome,” Pressley said. “Because in all the conversations I’ve been involved with with the people involved, they don’t even think that this $ 10,000 is of interest to them.”
Pressley and her comrades believe Biden has the executive power to write off debt under the Higher Education Act – and she said this was a “direct mandate” from the “diverse coalition” that sent him to the White House.
“If you want to talk about the role black women played on the ballot and at the ballot box, black women are the most educated and the most burdened with student debt,” Pressley said. “So you can say the words of appreciation. Politics is my language of love – cancel student debt.
There are 855,000 borrowers in Massachusetts who owe a total of $ 33.3 billion in student loans, with an average balance of nearly $ 39,000, officials said.
A borrower, La’Kayla Carpenter, was about to buy her first home when she found out she still had $ 23,000 in debt, and said she was “berated” when she offered her mortgage fees. closing to withdraw his loan from default.
“It would really help people like me,” Carpenter said.
Critics called the massive student loan cancellation unfair for former borrowers who worked hard to pay off their loans.
But Warren dismissed this argument, saying that “our economy would fare better if all the people with student debt could go out and start their own small businesses, able to buy a house.”