Schumer: Biden ‘Considering’ Forgiving $50,000 in Student Loan Debt via Executive Action

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) takes questions during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., December 1, 2020. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

President-elect Joe Biden is “considering” forgiving $50,000 in federal student loan debt for low-income and middle class students, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said Monday.

Schumer held a press conference alongside Democratic Congressmen-elect Ritchie Torres, Mondaire Jones and Jamaal Bowman of New York, during which the group announced they have “come to the conclusion” that Biden can “forgive $50,000 of debt the first day he becomes president.”

“You don’t need Congress, all you need is the flick of a pen and President-elect Biden — then President Biden — can make this happen,” Schumer said.

He added that the group is urging Biden to choose a secretary of education who will support student loan forgiveness because “it’s up to the secretary of education officially, but if President Biden wants it, I’m sure it will happen.”

“This debt is a huge burden on the backs of our students standing in the way of them and their economy and it stays with them for a very long time,” he said.

He said they are calling on Biden to take executive action to administratively cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt for federal student loan borrowers with an income below $125,000, and to do so in a way that the borrowers would have no tax liability when they receive the forgiveness.

Schumer said he has spoken to Biden about “how important” the loan forgiveness is and that he is “considering” it.

Asked if Biden will have the executive authority to forgive the debt, the New York Senator said the president-elect is researching that and “I believe when he does his research, he will find that he does.”

When asked what the forgiveness would mean for families who have “made sacrifices to pay off student loans” Schumer said it would be “good for everybody.”

“Lots of students paid off student loans but it’s such a burden it’s good for everybody to make sure that this debt is vanquished,” he said. “It’s never been this high.”

He added that when he finished college it cost $1,700 but “people can’t afford it now.”

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