A group of Democratic lawmakers joined the AFL-CIO and member unions in calling on President Joe Biden to cancel $50,000 of student loan debt per borrower, a move they said is vital for working-class Americans.
The president can forgive the debt via executive order “with one stroke of a pen,” Rep.
“At its root, organized labor is about giving workers a chance to live and to thrive. It’s the audacity to fight for better wages, for reasonable hours and safer working conditions,” Pressley said. “We know that canceling $50,000 per borrower would help millions of union families get back on track.”
The White House has yet to announce any definite plans for large-scale student loan cancellation, although Biden has expressed support for canceling $10,000 per borrower.
Wednesday’s renewed interest in $50,000 debt forgiveness comes after a May report from the Higher Education, Race and the Economy Lab at the University of California, Merced found that amount of cancellation would wipe all debt for 76% of borrowers.
Over 43 million Americans owe a total of $1.762 trillion in combined federal and private student loan debt, according to the Education Data Initiative.
More than 40% of those borrowers didn’t even receive the degree for which they took out the loans, trapping them in a cycle of late payments, Senate Majority Leader
“Instead of college being a ladder up, the debt has become an anchor down,” he said.
Educators, nurses, factory workers, and other trades dominated by women and marginalized communities would benefit greatly from wide-reaching student debt cancellation, union leaders said, echoing the lawmakers’ comments.
“We made a commitment to people: go to college, get a career, find yourself, be part of the American Dream,” said