A multi-state coalition of Democratic attorneys general is calling on President Joe Biden to write off up to $ 50,000 in student debt per borrower. The letter from 17 state law enforcement officers, led by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and New York Attorney General Letitia James, comes just days after Biden appeared to reject the idea of canceling that level of student debt at a city hall. from CNN.
Attorneys general cited their experience in applying consumer protection laws as a reason for their support for the cancellation. In recent years, attorneys general, including Healey and Vice President Kamala Harris when she was California attorney general, have been at the forefront of investigating the conduct of for-profit universities, some of which have been accused of abusing students. particularly students of color. State law enforcement officials said they also regularly listen to borrowers struggling to navigate existing student loan repayment and forgiveness programs, suggesting that the current system “provides insufficient opportunities for struggling borrowers to manage their loans. debts or recover from the current economic crisis. ” “The comprehensive cancellation of federal student loan debt will provide immediate relief to millions of people struggling through this pandemic and recession, and provide a much-needed boost to families and our economy,” the group wrote. The idea of canceling student debt has been around for years, but gained new urgency after Biden was elected in November. Amid the coronavirus-induced recession, canceling student debt is a particularly attractive form of relief for progressives and mainstream Democrats because Biden and the executive branch could do it themselves. Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer have repeatedly asked Biden to cancel up to $ 50,000 in student debt. During his campaign for president, Biden proposed to “immediately cancel a minimum of $ 10,000 of student debt per person.” Even among those who support debt cancellation, there is debate about whether it should be done through executive action or through Congress. Additionally, there is a variety of opinions among supporters about how much debt per borrower should be written off and whether there should be a cap on the income of borrowers receiving relief. The idea of canceling student debt has its origins in Occupy Wall Street and, although it has gained traction in recent years, particularly as the disproportionate impact of student debt on students in the US has become apparent. color, is not without controversy. Critics worry it’s a boon for borrowers who have six-figure postgraduate debt, but also relatively high incomes. But supporters argue that it would improve racial equity. Proponents of canceling student debt have also said that the student loan system essentially amounts to a policy failure, and canceling student debt is part of correcting it.