Congressional Black Caucus presses Biden on cancelling student loan debt

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Congressional Black Caucus presses Biden on cancelling student loan debt

The Congressional Black Caucus wants a meeting with President Joe Biden to press the case that cancelling student-loan debt is a racial equality issue.

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Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty said Friday that this is a crisis that was created by policy decisions and that we have a responsibility to address it head-on. Canceling student debt is one of the most impactful ways to address the racial inequities plaguing our nation. The caucus is one of many Democratic lawmakers who are trying to pressure the president to use his executive authority to forgive student loan debt ahead of the midterm elections.

Progressives, including Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Ayanna Pressley, have pushed for Biden to cancel $50,000 in student loan debt per person. That figure is also supported by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Raphael Warnock.

On Wednesday, Schumer, Warren and Warnock met with Biden to urge him to go big on loan forgiveness.

Biden has said he wouldn't go as high as $50,000 but he is considering forgiving at least $10,000 per borrower. One scenario suggested by the White House would limit loan forgiveness to individuals who make less than $125,000 a year. Biden has been deliberating for months about the issue, and any legislative action is unlikely.

Beatty called on Biden to implement broad-based cancellation in order to reduce the racial wealth gap and to provide an equitable economic recovery for all Americans. She said that the group is committed to exploring all options for dealing with loan debt with the administration.

More than 43 million people in the US have federal student loans, and Black college graduates have an average of $25,000 more debt than white college graduates, according to the Education Data Initiative. Black borrowers are more likely to struggle financially due to student loan debt.

For too long, this crisis has disproportionately impacted families and communities, particularly Black women who carry the most student debt because of discriminatory policies that systematically deny generational wealth building, Pressley said in a statement Friday.

Republicans have attacked Biden's consideration of loan forgiveness and introduced legislation that would prevent him from doing so. The GOP lawmakers claim debt forgiveness would add to inflation and be unfair to some Americans.

If the Administration decides to cancel nearly $2 trillion in student loan debt, it would be unfair to those who already repaid their loans or pursue alternative education paths, Republican Senator Mitt Romney tweeted Wednesday.

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