Have Republicans Subtly Admitted Biden can Eliminate Student Loan Debt?
A step towards the cancellation of American borrowers debt...
How the cookie crumbles have been a story many Americans can tell when speaking about our politics. Yesterday, some Republican lawmakers admitted that President Biden has the power to wipe out student loan debt with ease. This has been an ongoing consideration of the Biden administration in an effort to save their asses at midterms, even after heavy criticism and backlash from the Right.
Senate Minority Whip John Thune (SD) proposed a bill that would limit the executive branch’s ability to provide the needed relief for federal borrowers by taking away the authority to cancel such balances by the Secretary of Education. The bill would also limit the amount of time the Biden administration can push back payments while adding congressional oversight to the entire process.
To nobody’s surprise, the legislation will never pass through and is most likely a ploy by the GOP for their talking points of reducing or eliminating student debt. Some GOP officials have made claims that the reduction would be a “fiscally irresponsible bailout of high-income earners.” This turned the head of some and a response that has been circulating is: Aren't Republican senators admitting that student debt cancellation is within the authority of the president?
The bill which is co-sponsored by Senators Bill Cassidy (LA), Richard Burr (NC), Mike Braun (IN), and Roger Marshall (KS) comes just a day after multiple news outlets reported Biden is exploring the government’s options for canceling federal student debt. The Fed of New York estimated that the pause of student loan repayments has saved nearly 37 Million borrowers almost $200 Billion collectively through April. The main concern is that the postponements only push back the economic hardship of borrowers.
Half of student loan borrowers in the United States would not currently be able to make a SINGLE monthly payment according to a survey released last week. According to the same survey, the national average is estimated to be $460/mo. Legal experts along with some Democratic lawmakers say that according to the Education Act of 1965, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona has the power to wipe out nearly $1.6 Trillion in student loan debt for all 45 million borrowers. Section 432(a) of the law states that the education secretary has the authority to modify loan terms and "enforce, pay, compromise, waive, or release any right, title, claim, lien, or demand, however, acquired, including any equity or any right of redemption.” The Department of Education has invoked to unilaterally eliminate more than $17 Billion in student debt for hundreds of thousands of borrowers in the past year.
More polling indicates that the majority of the adults in the United States support student debt cancellation. These numbers even include those without repayments. The demand for cancellations seems to be the only way Democrats can work to capture the votes of young voters. For this reason, many Democrats have urged Biden to wipe out roughly $50,000 per borrower while the economic justice advocates continue to call for the cancellation of ALL federal student debt as a step forward for higher education. Remember all of the talks about Biden’s approval ratings? They are tanking, and it is a collapse that political observers have attributed to Biden’s failure to advance policies through legislative or executive channels.
"Inaction is going to be really dangerous for us in the midterms. Enthusiasm is really low. It's important to listen to the people who have sent us to represent them... and I know that student debt cancellation is a priority."
Rep. Ilhan Omar, who has urged Biden to eliminate all student debt, said earlier this month.