NEW YORK — New York Sen. Charles Schumer is asking President-elect Joe Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in debt for federal student loan borrowers as soon as he is sworn in.
At a Midtown, Manhattan news conference Monday, Schumer, joined by New York congressmen-elect Ritchie Torres, Mondaire Jones, and Jamaal Bowman, said Biden could do this by using existing executive authority under the Higher Education Act.
What You Need To Know
- Schumer said Biden is considering the proposal to cancel some debt by executive order
- Only debtors making less than $125,000 would qualify
- The average student debt in New York is $34,600
“I have spoken to him,” Schumer said of Biden, “I have told him how important it is, he is considering it,” adding that the president-elect is researching whether he has legal authority to cancel this debt by executive order. “I believe when he does his research he will find that he does.”
Schumer said canceling this debt would bring immediate relief to millions of New Yorkers struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. This initiative would cover only debtors making less than $125,000 a year.
“It only affects middle-class and poor students,” Schumer said.
The four Democrats said that student loan debt disproportionately impacts the future career prospects of Black and brown students and their ability to build wealth.
“It’s the only means of stimulating the economy without congressional action,” Torres said.
Torres and Mondaire spoke about how they still have outstanding student debt. They wouldn’t qualify for relief under this proposal.
The average student debt in New York is $34,600, according to recent data by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Torres, Mondaire, and Jones committed to prioritizing student debt forgiveness during their first year in Congress.
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