Biden’s appeal arises after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that Biden needs to take administrative action to waive student debt after he takes office.
A Biden official explained that the president-elect is requesting an “immediate” response to forgive $10,000 of student loan debt for borrowers — but that the action should occur in Congress.
“Immediate $10,000 forgiveness of student loans, helping people up there in real trouble,” Biden stated Monday. “They’re having to make choices between paying their student loan and paying the rent. Those kinds of decisions.”
Biden added: “It should be done immediately.”
The official followed saying that Biden was referring to congressional action.
Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced a plan explaining that Biden could use his executive power to cancel up to $50,000 of student debt per borrower.
“I have a proposal with Elizabeth Warren that the first $50,000 of debt be vanquished, and we believe that Joe Biden can do that with the pen as opposed to legislation,” Schumer said throughout an interview.
Biden has asked for more modest forgiveness — $10,000 in student loan debt — as part of a larger COVID-19 relief package.
Schumer said Biden has the ability under the Higher Education Act to direct the Department of Education to decrease or waive student loan debt without congressional support.
He said it would give total forgiveness to more than 75% of borrowers and incomplete forgiveness for more than 95%.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley further added on the matter, saying that: "Student debt cancelation will ensure an equitable economic recovery from COVID-19, jumpstart our economy & close the racial wealth gap. One more thing."
In a tweet on Tuesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez rejected reasons against canceling hefty debts accrued in further education.
"'Things were bad for me, so they should stay bad for everyone else' is not a good argument against debt cancellation - student, medical, or otherwise. #CancelStudentDebt," Ocasio-Cortez wrote.
She promotes the long-term goal of having tuition-free public colleges to dodge a huge debt in the first place. She thinks the current education system is "financially decimating every generation."
Though having taxpayers absorb the cost of the heavy student debt could face political opposition and lawsuits.
Outstanding student loan debt has multiplied over the past decade to $1.7 trillion, with one in six Americans owing money. It’s the second-largest volume of debt owed by Americans after home mortgages.
President Donald Trump in March suspended federal student loan debts and set interest rates at zero percent through Dec. 31, 2020.