Top Democrats warn Biden against student loan, restarting expulsion
Leading Democrats and left allies are urging the Biden administration to push back the impending restart of student loan payments and the evictions of tens of millions of Americans, demanding that the president use his executive power.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Representative Ilhan Omar from Minnesota and New York Representative Jamaal Bowman are among Democrats demanding that President Joe Biden extend the moratorium on federal evictions and suspend student loans. Schumer joined many student loan reformers last week to warn Biden and Congress that the scheduled October 1 reboot in payments would be a “disaster” for many of the country’s 43 million borrowers.
Omar and Bowman were just two lawmakers who ridiculed the White House by suggesting they lacked the power to extend the moratorium on evictions, which ended on Saturday. MK Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told CNN on Sunday that she partially blamed “conservative Democrats in the House” for allowing the moratorium to expire. She also lambasted the White House for “waiting until the day before the House adjourned” to release a hollow sign of support for the extension of the moratorium.
“If payments resume on October 1, millions of students, borrowers and parents will be abruptly pushed into repayment at the same time,” Schumer wrote in an op-ed Wednesday with Natalia Abrams, executive director of Student Debt Crisis. “Even those who live paycheck to paycheck or no paycheck at all.”
The Biden administration has supported neither an extension of student loan relief nor the moratorium on evictions, initiatives put in place when the coronavirus pandemic began. A June Supreme Court ruling declared the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s moratorium on evictions illegal, prompting the White House to focus on dispersing record $ 1.5 billion rent assistance over the course of of that single month.
The White House’s largely silent stance, even three days after the expulsion moratorium ended, sparked a protest sit-in on the U.S. Capitol on Saturday night and concerns among Democratic strategists that they could be dismissed in the election. mid-term if they did not act on these measures.
“The White House says it does not have the power to extend the moratorium on expulsions or cancel student debt. But it has had no problem carrying out airstrikes without permission from Congress.” Bowman tweeted, echoing urgent demands from many progressive lawmakers, including Cori Bush of Missouri and Pramila Jayapal of Washington state.
“Obviously, canceling student loan debt is the right policy. But also – the policy of restarting student loan payments next month is really terrible. Why the hell, if you’re a Democrat who cares about midterms, would you want to? “Remarked Matthew Cortland of progressive think tank Data Progress.
But Biden faces several daunting challenges in pushing back expulsion and student loan deadlines.
US Supreme Court justices ruled on a real estate case in Alabama in late June, declaring that “the CDC overstepped its existing statutory authority by declaring a nationwide moratorium on evictions.” And the Education Department appears poised to revive the student loan system on Oct. 1 despite groups of assistants testifying to Congress that the result will be “chaos.”
Last month, two major student loan managers, FedLoan Servicing and Granite State Management & Resources, told the Education Department that they were withdrawing from service entirely to their 10 million borrower accounts.
Persis Yu, director of the Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project at the National Consumer Law Center, told a Senate committee last week that there would be “cataclysmic consequences” for borrowers due to the increased complexity of the system that would have to be revived. October 1. The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to hold a hearing on student loan bankruptcy reform on Tuesday amid booming calls to review the $ 1.7 trillion owed by Americans who have requested higher education .
The US Department of Education has written off over $ 1.5 billion in student loan debt for nearly 92,000 borrowers under the Biden administration, especially among borrowers who can show they have been misled by colleges on the value of their degrees. About 1.2 million households said they were very likely to be evicted within the next 60 days, according to the recent household census survey.
But that hasn’t stopped a flood of criticism from moderate and progressive Democrats.
“As cases rise again, the moratorium on evictions ends. The moratorium on student loan payments ends. Cancel student debt, invest in affordable housing. This crisis is preventable,” Omar tweeted on Sunday .
News week contacted the White House and the Department of Education for further remarks Monday afternoon.