In addition to promising to “shut down” COVID-19 and send the American people $2,000 stimulus checks that have morphed into $1,400 checks, President Joe Biden also vowed to cancel billions of dollars in student loan debt while on the stump.
And while Biden is expected to ask Congress to cancel $10,000 in student debt for all borrowers, and has already extended a freeze on student loan payments through Sept. 30, 2021, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., wants more.
The self-avowed socialist lawmaker was participating in an Instagram Q&A session on Tuesday night when she demanded more — much more, to the tune of $50,000 — and said Biden must feel the pressure on the issue, Fox Business reported.
“The Biden admin NEEDS to be pushed,” AOC wrote, according to the network. “They have said they’re comfortable with $10K in forgiveness but we NEED at least $50K minimum and there is support for 50K.”
“We cannot take no for an answer,” the former bartender insisted. “This will all come down to public pressure. We have a window to ORGANIZE and rally for your public officials to demand forgiveness.”
The remark capturing two consistencies from the progressive left, not taking “no” for an answer and placing a huge emphasis on organizing — remember when many on the right mocked Barack Obama for being a community organizer?
In Sept. 2019, Ocasio-Cortez said that she had $19,000 in student loan debt.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., introduced a resolution last week calling on Biden to scratch $50,000 in student loan debt through an executive order. The effort also included ‘Squad’ members Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., among others.
“We are not going to let up until we accomplish it, until $50,000 of debt is forgiven for every student in the country,” Schumer said of the resolution that’s not legally binding. “Let’s get it done.”
His passion driven more by an urge to protect his left flank in the event of a primary challenge in 2022 than concern for student’s burdened by debt.
Warren said canceling student loan debt “is the single most effective executive action that President Biden can take to kickstart this economy.”
She has claimed it “would result in greater homeownership rates, more housing stability, improved credit scores, higher incomes, higher GDP, more small business formation and more jobs.”
Biden told the Washington Post in December that it’s “arguable” whether he would have the power as president to do that without the approval of Congress.
“I’m going to get in trouble for saying this, [but] it’s arguable that the president may have the executive power to forgive up to $50,000 in student debt,” Biden said at the time. “Well, I think that’s pretty questionable. I’m unsure of that. I’d be unlikely to do that.”
Lost in the mix, of course, are the millions of Americans who honored their debt and worked hard and sacrificed to pay it off. It would be patently unfair to them to see the debt of millions of students forgiven.
Outstanding student loan debt is near a stunning $1.7 trillion, Fox Business reported, with about one in six American adults having federal student loan debt. Forgiving a part of this debt would add to an exploding national deficit.
The network noted that the 2020 fiscal year saw a record $3.1 trillion deficit, which did not include the $900 billion coronavirus relief legislation passed in December.