- Biden told members of the Hispanic caucus that he was ready to forgive some or all of the federal student debt.
- CBS News first reported the comments from the 90 Minutes reunion on Monday.
- Canceling student debt would be something Biden has said he wants to do sooner rather than later.
President Joe Biden appears to be going above and beyond his campaign promise when it comes to canceling student loans.
CBS News first reported Tuesday that during a 90-minute meeting Monday with some members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Biden said he asked his aides to explore options for broad loan forgiveness. feds, a lawmaker at the outlet reportedly said.
“They are looking at different options on what they can do. Forgiving fully. That was our request,” said one of the lawmakers, who asked to remain anonymous.
The Washington Post later confirmed the report — Rep. Tony Cardenas, one of the meeting attendees, said the Post Biden was “incredibly positive” about canceling at least $10,000 in debt student debt, and Rep. Darren Soto, another attendee, added that canceling student debt is something Biden would like to achieve sooner rather than later, but he wants to be sure it won’t increase inflationary pressures.
With Biden himself having been fairly quiet about what action he will take on student debt, this could mark a significant step towards broad relief. Earlier this month, Biden extended the pause on student loan payments, with interest waived, until August 31. He also announced a plan to bring more than 7 million defaulting borrowers back into good standing. Since then, White House press secretary Jen Psaki has noted that Biden will make a decision on whether to write off student debt before the break expires, or that he will extend the break again, and Biden’s latest comments indicate progress toward that decision.
While Biden pledged on the campaign trail to endorse $10,000 in student loan forgiveness, Braxton Brewington, press secretary for the Debt Collective — the nation’s premier debtors union — told Insider that “the progressive response to this crisis is to cancel all student debt”.
“I think it would be really hard to go back,” Brewington said. “The likelihood of cancellation has only gotten better with each break extension… all the stars align to make this a real thing that’s on the table.”
Democratic lawmakers have been pushing for Biden to act on the growing $1.7 trillion crisis since taking office, and those calls are only intensifying as the midterm elections approach. But Republican lawmakers continue to oppose broad relief. Republicans on the House Education and Labor Committee slammed the “stupidity” of the mass student loan cancellation on Twitter on Tuesday, after arguing in the past that debt cancellation would cost taxpayers and increase inflation.
But those apologizing think it’s high time Biden delivered on what he promised voters.
“Complete cancellation is President Biden’s best bet to significantly stimulate the economy, narrow the racial wealth gap, also delivering a political victory before November,” Brewington said.