Joe Biden, who was recently proclaimed by the media as the winner of the presidential election, called on Congress to take “immediate” action to cancel billions worth of student loans as his camp prepares for a government transition.
Democrats earlier suggested that the former VP sign an executive order to forgive student debt currently pegged at US$1.5 trillion.
“Immediate US$10,000 forgiveness of student loans, helping people up there in real trouble,” Biden said in a speech in Delaware where he outlined some aspects of his plan to cancel student loan debt.
“They’re having to make choices between paying their student loan and paying the rent. Those kinds of decisions,” he added. “It should be done immediately.”
Fox News reported that according to an official from the Biden camp, the Democratic nominee is seeking swift action to forgive US$10,000 of student loan debt for borrowers — but that should be done by Congress.
Biden’s remarks came after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York suggested that he should bypass Congress to pursue his plan to cancel student loan debt and instead resort to executive action to get it done.
Senator Schumer urged the former vice president to follow-through with the plan that he proposed earlier with Senator Elizabeth Warren that the President “can and should cancel” up to US$50,000 in student loan debt immediately.
Biden has earlier signaled his desire to forgive $10,000 in federal student loans as part of a broader COVID-19 relief package.
“Getting rid of student debt … I have a proposal with Elizabeth Warren that the first US$50,000 of debt be vanquished, and we believe that Joe Biden can do that with the pen as opposed to legislation,” the top-rank Senate Democrat told The Ink in an interview.
Senator Schumer suggested that Biden use his executive power under the “Higher Education Act” to ask the Education Department to “modify, compromise, waive or release” student loans.
Critics of the plan have been arguing, however, that forgiving student loans could further push the country’s ballooning national deficit, which was seen at $3.1 trillion for 2020.
By forgiving student loan debt, the federal government is also expected to lose about US$85 billion in revenue, or 0.4% of GDP according to credit rater, Moody’s Analytics.
President Trump ordered in March for suspension of federal student loan payments with zero interest through December to relieve Americans during the onslaught of COVID-19.
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Source: The Scoop