President Joe Biden suggested in a private meeting with Democrats that he was open to canceling student loan debt, though he largely ignored the issue entirely during his first year as president. .
Members of the far left have continued to push Biden for action on student loan debt beyond extending the ongoing student loan moratorium, which is now not expected to resume until August.
In March, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), for example, encouraged voters to “bully” the Biden White House into taking meaningful action on this issue, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), as well as Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), have also pressed Biden on the issue for months. Jayapal went so far as to suggest that canceling student debt is a matter of “racial justice”, “gender justice” and “economic justice”:
Canceling student debt is racial justice.
Canceling student debt is gender justice.
The cancellation of student debt is economic justice.
— Pramila Jayapal (@PramilaJayapal) April 16, 2022
Biden initially rejected calls to write off student loan debt in a meaningful way. Shortly after taking office, Biden admitted he would not cancel up to $50,000 in student debt, although the White House later backtracked, suggesting the president was ready to explore other ways:
From the Biden Town Hall on CNN last night, this questioner asked about the forgiveness of $50,000 in student debt:
“What will you do to make this happen? »
“I’m not going to make that happen.” pic.twitter.com/Y7auUT2YQZ
— The recount (@therecount) February 17, 2021
However, it looks like Biden could take stronger action in the second year of his presidency as his approval rating continues to dip into the negatives on most key issues.
According to Washington PostBidene meet with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus this week and “has repeatedly signaled that he is prepared not only to extend the current moratorium, but also to potentially take executive action completely canceling some of the debt, according to two members of the Chamber present and two assistants briefed on the content of the meeting.
Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) reportedly raised two issues regarding student loans, asking the president to extend the moratorium beyond August.
“Well, Tony, I extended it every time,” Biden reportedly told the congressman.
The California congressman also pushed Biden to write off some per capita student loan debt, and Biden was “incredibly positive” about that prospect, according to Cárdenas:
Cárdenas said he then urged the president to issue an executive order to relieve at least $10,000 in student loan debt per person. In making his case, Cárdenas said he told Biden that Latinos in the United States who have student debt still have more than 80% of their bill owing after more than a dozen years.
Another lawmaker present, Rep. Darren Soto (D-Florida), said Biden’s response to lawmakers’ demands to forgive at least some student debt was essentially that he would like to do so as soon as possible. The president suggested he was looking to take executive action as soon as possible, telling Hispanic lawmakers they would be very happy with what he did next, according to aides briefed at the meeting.
Overall, Cárdenas said he’s “confident” Biden is working on this issue. White House press secretary Jen Psaki also suggested that Biden will make a decision on student loan debt by August,
An April survey by Rasmussen Reports found that the most likely voters, 52%, favor action to forgive student loan debt.