Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took issue with President Joe Biden telling a young woman at the Tuesday night CNN town hall that he would not write off $50,000 in student debt for American borrowers.
‘The case against student loan forgiveness is looking shakier by the day,’ the New York Democrat tweeted Wednesday as she tried to poke holes in Biden’s arguments. ‘We can and should do it. Keep pushing!’ the progressive lawmaker encouraged.
While Biden told town hall attendee, Joycelyn Fish, ‘I will not make that happen,’ when she said $50K should be the magic number, press secretary Jen Psaki walked back Biden’s slap-down, explaining he doesn’t favor a $50,000 write-off ‘without limitation,’ but signaled that dollar amount wasn’t totally off the table.
President Joe Biden said he would not wipe $50,000 from each American’s student loan bill, explaining that he feared he would be spending money to erase debt from people who went to Ivy League universities
Progressive Democrats including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (left) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (right) have pressed the Biden administration to erase $50,000 in debt load from every student borrower. AOC tweeted about it Wednesday
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez argued, ‘Entire generations of working class kids were enouraged to go into more debt under the guise of elitism’ and said it was a false choice for President Joe Biden to say debt forgiveness for students who went to Ivy League schools would be better spent on early childhood education
AOC said Biden’s ‘case against student loan forgiveness is looking shakier by the day’ and pointed out that the Senate’s Democratic Leader, Sen. Chuck Schumer, is on board with the $50,000 amount of debt relief
White House press secretary Jen Psaki clarified Biden’s position during the Wednesday press briefing, explaining that the president doesn’t favor a $50,000 write-off ‘without limitation’
Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer put out a statement that said the Biden administration had told thme that they were looking at options to cancel up to $50,000 in student debt, a number Biden had seemed to shut the door on Tuesday night
During the CNN town hall, Biden suggested he wasn’t comfortable with that much debt relief because he feared it was going to students who graduated from Ivy League universities.
‘I say to a community, I’m going to forgive the debt, the billions of dollars of debt for people who have gone to Harvard and Yale and Penn and the schools of my children,’ he said. ‘But is that going to be forgiven rather than use that money to provide for early education for young children who come from disadvantaged circumstances?’
Ocasio-Cortez called this nonsense.
‘Who cares what school someone went to? Entire generations of working class kids were encouraged to go into more debt under the guise of elitism. This is wrong,’ she said.
She also argued it was a false choice.
‘Nowhere does it say we must trade-off early childhood education for student loan forgiveness. We can have both,’ she added.
President Joe Biden (right) said ‘I will not make that happen,’ when CNN town hall attendee Joycelyn Fish (left) asked him to forgive $50,000 in student debt per American, instead of the $10,000 he’s proposed
AOC also pointed out the fact that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer supported the move.
‘We’ve got the *Senate Majority Leader* on board to forgive $50k,’ she noted in a tweet. ‘Biden’s holding back, but many of the arguments against it just don’t hold water on close inspection.’
Biden had also said, ”I don’t think I have the authority to do it by signing.’
Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren put out a statement Wednesday that said they were told by the Biden administration that ‘it is reviewing options for cancelling up to $50,000 in student debt by executive action.’
Asked about that at the daily press briefing, Psaki explained that Biden will ask his team at the Justice Department, once they’re in place, to ‘conduct a legal review of his authority to act by executive action.’
Biden’s Domestic Policy Council will also look at how debt relief should be targeted.
‘Once that’s concluded he’ll decide that path forward,’ the White House press secretary said.
She said last night Biden was reiterating his previously held position.
‘Which is he doesn’t favor $50,000 in student loan relief without limitation, and he used some examples of the types of schools or when it should be reimbursed or refunded,’ she said.
Psaki said factors included whether borrowers went to public or private schools, if the loans are from undergraduate or graduate school and the income they make.
‘In the meantime, if Congress moves forward and sends him a package that provides $10,000 in student debt relief he would be eager to sign that,’ Psaki also said.
During the town hall, Biden first talked about his plans to make education more affordable – like free community college – before getting back to the plight of loan holders, who are sometimes a decade or two out of school.
The president said he backed Americans being able to pay off their debt through certain career fields and volunteer work.
He also was supportive of repayment plans, which already exist, that are based on income.
‘And you cannot be charged more than X per cent of your take-home pay, so that it doesn’t affect your ability to buy a car, own a home, etc.,’ Biden explained.