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Black Lawmakers Urge Biden To Cancel Student Debt

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The Congressional Black Caucus is looking on President Joe Biden to make use of his executive powers to enact “broad-based student loan debt cancellation,” saying doing so would help reduce the racial wealth gap.

In a statement Friday, the group of Black lawmakers described the $1.7 trillion student loan debt crisis as “a racial and economic justice issue disproportionately impacting Black communities.”

“Canceling student loan debt is some of the impactful ways to handle the continued economic and racial inequities plaguing our nation,” the CBC wrote.

“Nothing is off the table, except inaction,” said the lawmakers, who also asked to satisfy with Biden to debate the matter.

The $1.7 trillion student loan debt crisis is a racial & economic justice issue disproportionately impacting Black communities nationwide. @TheBlackCaucus is looking on the Biden Administration to implement broad-based student loan debt cancellation by executive motion. 🧵

— Rep. Joyce Beatty (@RepBeatty) May 20, 2022

The CBC didn’t include a certain amount of student debt that they advisable to be canceled.

Earlier this yr, dozens of Democratic lawmakers, led by Massachusetts Democrats Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, urged the president to cancel $50,000 in student debt per borrower.

Biden previously indicated he’s “unlikely” to eliminate that much debt per person, but has expressed support for forgiving $10,000 of debt per person.

The administration has said the president will determine whether to cancel any amount of student debt before payments resume in August. (Federal student loan payments were paused amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and Biden has repeatedly prolonged this pause.)

Widespread loan forgiveness would make a major dent within the racial wealth gap, as Black undergraduates are more likely than every other racial group to must borrow money to pay for school, and Black students graduate with the best student loan debt of any group.

A Federal Reserve report in 2020 checked out American borrowers under age 40 who’ve student loan debt, and located that 26% of Black and 19% of Latinx borrowers had fallen behind on their loan payments, in comparison with just 7% of white borrowers.

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