- Biden has told members of the Hispanic Caucus that he is open to canceling some or all of his federal student debt.
- CBS News first reported comments from the 90-minute meeting on Monday.
- Canceling student debt is something Biden said he wants to do sooner rather than later.
President Joe Biden appears to be going beyond his campaign promise when it comes to student loan forgiveness.
CBS News first reported on Tuesday that in a 90-minute meeting on Monday with some members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Biden said he had asked his aides to explore broad forgiveness options for federal loans, one said. legislator present to the vehicle.
“They are looking at different options on what they can do. Forgive completely. That was our request,” said one of the lawmakers, who asked to remain anonymous.
The Washington Post later confirmed that report – Representative Tony Cardenas, one of the meeting’s participants, told the Post that Biden was “incredibly positive” about the idea of canceling at least $10,000 in student debt, and Representative Darren Soto, Another participant added that canceling student debt is something Biden would like to do sooner rather than later, but he wants to make sure it doesn’t add to inflationary pressures.
With Biden himself getting pretty quiet about what actions he will take on student debt, this could mark a significant step towards broad relief. Earlier this month, Biden extended the pause on interest-free student loan payments until August 31. He also announced a plan to restore more than 7 million delinquent borrowers to good standing. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has since noted that Biden will either make a decision on canceling the student debt before the break expires, or he will extend the break again, and Biden’s latest comments are indicating progress on that decision. .
While Biden pledged on the campaign trail to approve $10,000 in student loan forgiveness, Braxton Brewington, press secretary for the Debt Collective — the nation’s first debtors union — told Insider that the “progressive response to this crisis is to cancel all student debt.” ”.
“I think it would be very difficult to go back,” Brewington said. “The probability of cancellation has only improved with each length of pause… all the stars are lining up 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 he took office, and those calls are only increasing as the midterm elections approach. But Republican lawmakers continue to oppose broad relief. Republicans on the House Education and Labor Committee hit the “stupidity” of mass student loan forgiveness on Twitter on Tuesday, having argued in the past that debt cancellation would cost taxpayers and increase inflation.
But those pushing for pardon believe it is past time for Biden to deliver on his promises to voters.
“Full cancellation is President Biden’s best bet to significantly stimulate the economy by closing the racial wealth gap, also delivering a political victory before November,” Brewington said.