December 10, 2021

 AOC 'Squad' Pressures Biden to Consider Canceling Student Debt

  • Executive, The Hill

By: Konrad Holden

In Brief: 
In April of 2021, Biden’s chief of staff Ron Klain said that a memo about student debt cancellation would be released in weeks. Months have passed and members of the ‘Squad’ are upset that nothing has been done yet. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) wrote the President a letter demanding that he cancel student debt as the “morally right and economically sound” thing to do.

The Background: 
Democrats have long been demanding that all federal student debt be canceled. Many of them made that campaign promise in 2016 and again in 2020. 

Now, the more radical Democratic members of Congress are calling on President Biden to make good on his campaign pledge.

In a letter sent to Biden in October, Omar and Ocasio-Cortez called on the President to “honor your campaign pledge and use this authority to cancel all student debt.” 

Federal student loan payments have been paused during the COVID-19 pandemic under the Higher Education Act of 1965. But some have doubted whether or not he actually has the power to cancel the debt.

Earlier in 2021, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said that an act of Congress was needed to do it. And President Biden has some misgivings about whether or not he can or should do it since he has not yet canceled any debt.

Rep. Ilhan Omar, however, said on Twitter, "President Biden can cancel student debt with the flick of a pen.”

Notable Quotes: 

"Today, we are calling on the Administration to release the memo on student debt cancellation and [cancel student debt]." - Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN)

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