Several left-wing Democrats are urging President Joe Biden to expand his newest $5 billion student debt cancellation plan to include more borrowers.
The Biden administration’s Department of Education (ED) released a new plan Dec. 5 to forgive student loan debt through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program that will give credit to payers who hadn’t received credit for their payments and have been in repayment for at least 20 years. Democrat Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Reps. Ilhan Omar wrote that the latest rule proposal for student debt “would fall far short of providing the full scale of debt relief that low- and middle-income Americans urgently need,” according to the letter.
“As the negotiating committee prepares for its final session, we urge ED and the committee to consider six recommendations for maximizing the impact of the proposed rule for vulnerable borrowers,” the letter continues, according to Politico.
The ED should get rid of debt that is more than the original principal balance of the loan, the letter says. The department also calls for completely cancel debt for borrowers who have repaid their original principal.
ED also should “eliminate the sudden cliff that would give full relief to borrowers whose loans first entered repayment at least 20 or 25 years ago, and no relief to similarly situated borrowers,” according to the letter.
The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in June against the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness program for non-Pell Grant and Pell Grant recipients and the ED announced another plan June 30 to expand income-driven student loan repayment plans.
ED should provide “relief to borrowers with financial hardship and create a catch-all category for unforeseen forms of hardship” and to “borrowers who have been victims of student loan servicer misconduct or error,” according to the letter. The department should then also eliminate “burdensome applications” by basing eligibility on information from ED or “that it can acquire from other agencies.”
“The Biden-Harris Administration is proud of our record of providing relief to borrowers as we work to fix the broken student loan system. This rulemaking process is about standing up for borrowers who’ve been failed by the country’s broken student loan system and creating new regulations that will reduce the burden of student debt in this country,” a spokesperson for ED told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Omar, Schumer, Sanders and Warren did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
Brandon Poulter on December 11, 2023