Since President Biden took office, top Democrats have been pressing him to unilaterally cancel student loan debts worth tens of thousands of dollars in each case.
Amongst the most vocal of those Democrats is Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the Senate Majority Leader. Schumer recently held a press conference where alongside Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) of the ‘squad’ and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), he called upon President Biden to postpone student’s loan payment moratorium ’til the following spring and also requested that $50,000 in student loan debt be canceled.
Schumer smugly claimed that Biden merely “has to… flick his pen,” and automatically, “make America a happier, better… prosperous place.” Schumer made the remarks while wearing a “Cancel Student Debt” face mask.
Unfortunately for Schumer, his Democrat comrade House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) shot down his pie-in-the-sky plan, making a statement the next day explaining that despite the call from numerous members of her own party, the President does not posses the authority to perform such an action.
Pelosi said that it’s a popular misconception that the President “has the power for debt forgiveness,” but clarified that “he does not.” She added that there are actions he can take regarding debts such as postponing or delaying payment deadlines, but emphasized that “he does not have… power” to forgive debts to the government. That power lies exclusively with Congress she said.
Pelosi even pushed back against President Biden’s Build Back Better plan, saying that not all Americans necessarily want to attend college “they may not… aspire to that… that’s fine.” She added that she supports broad access to “vocational training,” but says that taxpayers shouldn’t have to support “somebody else’s obligations.”
While Pelosi supports a government framework which removes financial barriers to college for those who seek it, she is not supportive of student loan forgiveness.
In February, Biden said that a $50,000 forgiveness was too high, offering that he was in support of, and falsely believed himself to have authority to grant a $10,000 debt cancellation per borrower by executive order.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at that time that the Department of Justice would review whether or not he had authority to do so, but months later the proposal was dropped by the Biden administration, indicating that no legal pathway for loan forgiveness could be found.
Author: Casey Matthews