After amassing more than 81 million popular votes in the November 2020 election, president-elect Joe Biden looks to move the country forward in time of crisis.
After condemning the “stop the steal” movement, labeling it “the culmination of that unrelenting attack;” a reference to an earlier portion of his statement, citing Donald Trump’s actions and rhetoric, the Biden Administration now pivots to his own platform.
For the past four years, President Trump has unleashed an all-out assault on the institutions of our democracy.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 8, 2021
Yesterday was but the culmination of that unrelenting attack. pic.twitter.com/Mcli7mzENu
Now several reports emerge that the former vice president will seek student loan forgiveness as early as the first day of his term. Presidential aides have informed a number of outlets that this initiative is a high priority for his administration but some hurdles stand in the way.
Biden will not seek to implement the cancellation of higher education debt through Executive Order, a method that would very likely be a certainty, rather he will ask Congress to effect the change.
His staff asserts that he’s committed to a $10,000 reduction per borrower, however Congress, which now boasts a slim Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate, is likely to have a different perspective.
NEW: @Transition46 officials say @JoeBiden will direct the Department of Education to extend the existing pause on student loan payments & interest, & also supports Congress immediately canceling $10,000 of federal student loan debt per person, as a response to the COVID crisis.— Molly Nagle (@MollyNagle3) January 8, 2021
The left-wing of the Democratic party: A.O.C., Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and others, will advocate for a more robust level of relief for overburdened students. Warren and others touted the possibility of outright forgiveness for the 45 million borrowers who carry the total $1.7 million tab. Her recent proposal, a collaboration with fellow Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), called for an amount of $50,000. Senate and House Republicans, although outnumbered, stand poised to oppose any measure outright let alone a more ambitious figure.
More debate will occur over which borrowers will be eligible for the relief. Some previous plans have included income limits or phase-outs (the Warren-Schumer plan listed a $125,000 income ceiling) and other discussion have delineated federal student loans from private student loans.
We told America’s students to work hard and go to college – but our government crushed them with debt by failing to invest in their education. The Biden admin should start to correct this generational wrong by using its authority to #CancelStudentDebt. https://t.co/qSFBhIjsvq— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) January 6, 2021
Considering the stark political divide in Washington and the chaotic transfer of power from the contentious outgoing administration, the branch’s own stated priority of additional stimulus relief, and you have the makings of an entrenched, exhaustive battle to pass legislation. Some have noted that the student loan relief was included in previous stimulus bills but was omitted before completion each time.