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Lawmakers and union leaders seek $50,000 student debt forgiveness

By on June 22, 2022 0

A group of Democratic lawmakers have joined the AFL-CIO and member unions in calling on President Joe Biden to forgive $50,000 in student loan debt per borrower, a move they say is vital for Working class Americans.

The president can cancel debt by executive order “with the stroke of a pen,” the representative said. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) said during a panel discussion Wednesday.

“At its core, organized work is about giving workers a chance to live and thrive. It’s the audacity to fight for better wages, reasonable hours and safer working conditions,” Pressley said. “We know that canceling $50,000 per borrower would help millions of unionized families get back on track.”

The White House has yet to announce any final plans for large-scale student loan forgiveness, though Biden has voiced support for $10,000 per borrower forgiveness.

Wednesday’s renewed interest in canceling the $50,000 debt comes after a May report from the University of California’s Higher Education, Race and the Economy Lab, Merced found that the amount of the forgiveness would wipe out all debt for 76% of borrowers.

According to Education Data Initiative.

More than 40% of those borrowers didn’t even receive the degree they took out the loans for, trapping them in a cycle of late payments, Senate Majority Leader chuck schumer (DN.Y.) said during the roundtable. After failing to graduate, these people are relegated to low-paying jobs in order to stay afloat and pay back what they borrowed.

“Instead of college being an upward ladder, debt has become a downward anchor,” he said.

Educators, nurses, factory workers and other female-dominated occupations and marginalized communities would benefit greatly from wide-ranging student debt cancellation, union leaders say, echoing comments from lawmakers .

“We made a commitment to people: to go to college, to have a career, to find yourself, to be part of the American dream,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. “We need to make sure the debt is extinguished so people can have the American dream.”