By JUANA NORALES
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and a group of progressive Democrats on Thursday urged the Biden Administration to cancel $50,000 in student loan debt to all borrowers as a way to help millions of struggling families in the pandemic and close the racial wealth gap.
“College should be a ladder up, for too many people, debt is the anchor that ways them down and they rarely overcome it,” said the New York Democrat at a press conference on Capitol Hill.
The group suggested that the president had the authority to wipe away the debt through executive action, a move that has sparked doubt in the Oval Office.
“Cancelling student loan debt by executive action is the single most effective way that President Biden can close the Black/white wealth gap,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
President Biden, however, has already expressed doubts that the action could be achieved by executive fiat.
Joining the senators were a progressive Democratic representatives, including Mondaire Jones of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Ilhan Omar of Minessota and Alma Adams of North Carolina.
“This debt holds people back from buying cars, from going on vacations, from starting families, from getting the job they wanna get,” added Schumer. “It’s a huge anchor on our entire economy and there’s very little that the president could do with a flick of a pen that would boost our economy more than cancelling $50,000 in student debt.”
Student loan debt is known to affect Black and Latino families the hardest, supporters said.
“This pandemic has made it all but impossible to ignore the fact that we can and we must take bold action to address the inequalities and disparities in our country and provide much needed relief to our communities,” said Pressley.