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‘I will not make that happen’: Biden declines Democrats’ call to cancel $50K in student debt

‘I will not make that happen’: Biden declines Democrats’ call to cancel $50K in student debt

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said Tuesday that he would not eliminate $50,000 in student debt, shooting down a proposal introduced by prominent De

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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said Tuesday that he would not eliminate $50,000 in student debt, shooting down a proposal introduced by prominent Democrats earlier this month, but that he is open to some level of loan forgiveness.

“I will not make that happen,” Biden said at a CNN town hall, his first event outside of Washington since taking office, in response to an audience member calling on him to commit to canceling at least $50,000 in debt.

Biden, listing off the six-figure debts he said his children incurred attending private universities, said that he understood the burden of the student loan crisis, but he did not believe he could eliminate $50,000 on his own without congressional action.

“My point is: I understand the impact of debt and it can be debilitating,” Biden said. “I am prepared to write off the $10,000 debt but not $50 [thousand] because I don’t think I have the authority to do it.”

Biden’s comments come as he faces growing pressure from his own party to take bolder action on student debt, and to bypass Congress in order to do so.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and other lawmakers, introduced a resolution in early February calling on Biden to use executive action to wipe out up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt for all borrowers, arguing that the Secretary of Education has broad administrative authority to cancel the debt.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at the time that Biden was “reviewing whether there are any steps he can take through executive action and he would welcome the opportunity to sign a bill sent to him by Congress.”

Biden also reiterated his support on Tuesday for making community college free and for allowing families earning under $125,000 to send their kids to state schools for free. Biden said he also supported expanding debt forgiveness programs for those going into public service jobs, such as teaching.

He added that during “this moment of economic pain and strain” caused by the coronavirus pandemic, interest should be eliminated.

Biden also suggested Tuesday that extending school through the summer could be an option for states in an effort to make up for the interrupted academic year.

“My guess is they’re going to probably be pushing to open all summer, to continue like it’s a different semester,” Biden said.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Nbcnews.com

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