Nearly 20 dozen groups ask Biden to write off all federal student debt on day one by executive order

More than 235 nonprofits and community organizations sent a letter to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, urging them to “use executive power to cancel federal student debt from day one of their administration.”

“Student loan borrowers are drowning in debt caused by an inequitable and broken system for decades.”
—Persis Yu, National Center for Consumer Law

“Biden can – and should – cancel student debt on day one of his presidency,” said Ashley Harrington, federal director of advocacy and senior counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending, in a statement. joint statement.

“Suspending short-term payments alone is not enough to help distressed borrowers who are unemployed, already in default or in serious delinquency,” added Harrington. “Borrowers need real relief, and they need it from day one.”

As Common dreams reported, pressure is mounting on Biden to immediately cancel student loan debt upon taking office in January, a decision in his power and that progressives say it’s a sure-fire way to improve the lives of working people in the midst of a crushing economic crisis.

Although Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) Have called on Biden to wipe out $ 50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower with the stroke of a pen instead of waiting for a law, the president-elect has so far proposed something much weaker, much to the chagrin of the left.

According to NPR, Biden wants the government to “reimburse up to $ 10,000 in private, non-federal student loans for” economically distressed “borrowers.”

Lee Carter, a Democratic Socialist representative in the Virginia state legislature, tweeted that Biden’s approach to student loan debt cancellation “shows how the Democrats’ right wing[s] good political goals where hardly anyone is affected, but they can still claim victory. “

The recent letter – led by Americans for Financial Reform, the Center for Responsible Lending, Demos, the National Consumer Law Center, and the Student Borrower Protection Center – pointed out that student loan debt cancellation “will provide much needed economic stimulus.” , will improve health outcomes and “narrow the racial wealth gap”.

“We can’t wait another second for debt relief when we know the president has the power to write off student debt on day one,” Natalia Abrams, executive director of the association, told nonprofit Student Debt Crisis.

Persis Yu, director of the National Consumer Law Center’s Student Loan Assistance Project, explained that “student loan borrowers are drowning in debt caused by an inequitable and broken system for decades.”

“At a time when student borrowers face serious economic hardship, the impact of canceling student debt will be significant.
—Amalia Chamorro, UnidosUS

“Abusive debt collection practices take essential funds, like the earned income tax credit, out of borrower safety nets and extrajudicially garnish borrowers’ salaries,” Yu continued.

“The cancellation of student debt is now urgently needed,” added Yu, “as American families struggle to stay financially afloat during the economic and public health crisis caused by Covid-19”.

Abrams said “with so much at stake, this is the most urgent opportunity to help the country recover from the health crisis, recover from economic damage and recover from the history of disparities racial “.

Harrington pointed out that “even before the Covid-19 pandemic, student debt was exacerbating systemic inequalities and existing racial disparities.”

“Just like with the Great Recession, communities of color are disproportionately affected by the current crisis,” she said. “They also bear a disproportionate amount of the $ 1.6 trillion student debt burden that is draining our economy.”

Biden “can and should use the remedy of student debt cancellation to resolve these pressing issues,” Abrams argued.

Amalia Chamorro, associate director of education at UnidosUS, noted that “at a time when student borrowers face severe economic hardship, the impact of student debt cancellation will be far-reaching.”

The signatories of the letter are: American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, the Education Trust, Hispanic Federation, NAACP, National Urban League, UnidosUS, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), National Women’s Law Center, SEIU, UE ( United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America), Coalition on Human Needs, Children’s Defense Fund, American Psychological Association, Council on Social Work Education, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, Greenpeace, Sunrise Movement, Minority Veterans of America, Veterans Education Success, The United States Student Association, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, and the National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd.

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