As I noted yesterday, some are urging Joe Biden to forgive student debt by executive order, which is both bad policy and legally questionable.
But it might also be a useful bargaining chip for the Democrats: If Republicans agree to a somewhat bigger chunk of COVID relief than they’ve offered thus far, breaking the logjam on that issue, Democrats should agree to rewrite the executive branch’s statutory authority to “compromise, waive, or release” student loans. Republicans would get a high-profile win by shutting down this option (though it might never have been exercised anyway), while Democrats would get more of their priorities on COVID relief.
Then again, I have a conflict of interest here. I think another round of COVID relief and killing off a potential student-debt “jubilee” are both wins.