Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren on Sunday renewed her push for President Biden to cancel billions of dollars insaying the measure would remove the burden for tens of millions of borrowers, while improving Democrats’ chances of retaining their Senate and House majorities in November’s midterm elections.
Appearing on “Face the Nation,” Warren insisted the White House has the authority to write off student debt in part because it has already done so for certain borrowers, including through afor those who work in the public service.
“Look, we know that the president has the authority to write off student loan debt and the best way for us to know that is because President Obama did it, President Trump did it, and President Biden has now done it over and over again. The power is clearly there, ” she said.
Warren said 40% of borrowers don’t have college degrees and could be stuck in huge debts despite not having completed their degrees.
“These are people who tried, but life happened: pregnancy, they were working three jobs, their mother got sick, they had to move to another city. And now they earn like a high school graduate, but they’re trying managing college loan debt and it’s crushing them,” she said.
Canceling student debt has been one of Warren’s main goals in recent years. She has repeatedly lobbied the Biden administration to extend the pause on student loan repayments during the pandemic andthis month showing that canceling $50,000 in student loans per person would eliminate all debt for 36 million borrowers, or 84% of those with loans. Last week, she discussed her proposal in an op-ed for The New York Times, where she laid out ways her party can avert disaster in the upcoming midterm elections.
“Democrats win when Democrats are in touch with the American people and what’s going on with them,” she said Sunday. “Today we have people who are in line at the checkout to buy groceries and they have to choose what they are going to return because they can’t afford it. , who simply cannot manage these borrowing burdens”.
Biden previously said he wanted to cancel $10,000 in student loan debt, though he appeared hesitant to move forward without congressional action.
Opponents of Warren’s plan to cancel student debt say it would contribute to already record inflation. The senator disagrees.
“As President Biden himself says, the way we deal with inflation is not by making people poorer,” she said. “The way we deal with inflation is to attack high prices head-on, [such as] price gouging. We straighten the supply chain so goods get to people. We attack it head-on, not trying to make people poorer. Canceling student loan debt is something that would be good for people across the country and, more importantly, good for our economy at large.”
Borrowers owe more than $1.7 trillion in student loans, according to the Federal Reserve. It is the second largest debt of American households, after mortgages. The burden has forced many young Americans tolike buying a house, saving for retirement and having kids, a study revealed last week.
Warren expressed confidence that Democrats can deliver results in the next six months before voters go to the polls.
“We need to be there fighting, and what we need to fight for are the things that directly touch America’s families,” she said. “People are counting on us and we can’t just sit back and play politics. We need to be in the fight on behalf of the American people. And that means people who are struggling with student loan debt, people who are struggling with high prices, people who are worried with this pandemic.”