Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, joined Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) as a co-lead of a resolution to cancel $50,000 of federal student loan debt per person. The resolution calls on the President to use executive authority to cancel student loan debt and ensure there is no tax liability for federal student loan borrowers resulting from administrative debt cancellation. Congresswoman Waters was an original cosponsor of this legislation when it was introduced in the 116th Congress.
“The time to cancel student debt is now,” said Congresswoman Waters. “For over a year, people all across this country have been struggling to find work, put food on the table, and keep a roof over their head due to the coronavirus pandemic that has crippled our economy and ravaged our communities. Canceling $50,000 of student debt is the right and just thing to do, and it is well within the Biden Administration’s authority. This action would help to alleviate the burden so many borrowers face after pursuing an education, change their lives, and jumpstart our economy. I thank Representatives Pressley, Omar, and Adams for their work to ensure a more equitable future, and thank Representatives Bowman, Jones, and Torres for joining us in this call to provide relief to those struggling under a mountain of student debt in the 117th Congress.”
“The student debt crisis is a racial and economic justice issue,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “With this pandemic worsening daily, we need bold and high impact policies that will match the scale and scope of the crisis and truly offer immediate relief for people—this must include across the board student debt cancellation. President Biden has the legal authority to cancel billions in student debt with the stroke of a pen and he must meet the moment by using that authority, which would not only set us on a path to an equitable recovery, but would also help reduce the racial wealth gap.”
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) reintroduced this bicameral resolution in the United States Senate.
On December 17, Chairwoman Waters joined Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) in introducing a resolution outlining a bold plan for President-elect Joe Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in Federal student loan debt for student loan borrowers using existing legal authority under the Higher Education Act.
On December 4, 2020, Chairwoman Waters recommended President Biden issue an executive order to promptly forgive up to $50,000 of debt for each federal student loan borrower and pause all student loan payments and interest accrual until the economy can recover.
In May of 2020, Chairwoman Waters secured the inclusion of $5 billion in the Heroes Act for student loan debt forgiveness for borrowers of private education loans.