New York Attorney General Seeks Full Forgiveness of Federal Student Loan Debt
NEW YORK CITY (WROC) – New York Attorney General Letitia James is asking President Joe Biden to fully forgive federal student debt owed by every federal borrower in the county.
In a letter to the president, James – along with a coalition of other US attorneys general – stressed that “immediate relief is needed for borrowers struggling with the unmanageable burden of student loan debt.”
According to the attorneys general, the president has the authority to immediately exercise his power under the Higher Education Act to cancel all federal student loan debt for each borrower.
“While I commend President Biden for seriously considering forgiving $10,000 per borrower, we need to take bolder and more decisive action to end this crisis and provide Americans with the tools they need to thrive.” , said Attorney General James. “Student debt prevents millions of struggling borrowers from achieving financial stability and leads to a cycle of financial burdens that follows them throughout their lives. I join my colleagues in urging President Biden to lead one of the most impactful racial and economic justice initiatives in history by canceling this debt, in its entirety, for all.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, student borrowers currently owe more than $1.7 trillion to the federal government. She says debt cancellation is “necessary to address the enormity of the debts owed, the systemically flawed repayment and forgiveness systems, and the disproportionate impact of the debt burden on millions of borrowers.” .
The attorneys general of Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Puerto Rico and Washington join James in sending the letter to Biden.
Just this weekend, President Biden was considering limiting student loan forgiveness to people earning below a specific income, three sources familiar with the matter Told The Washington Post.
Authorities are considering limiting the waiver to those earning less than $125,000 or $150,000 as an individual or $250,000 or $300,000 for couples filing taxes together.
“There are different proposals floating around the administration on how to structure this,” one person told the Post. “Over the past week in particular, the administration and congressional staff have focused the debt cancellation conversation on how best to fulfill the president’s desire to ensure that the most economically vulnerable people in debt benefit of any action.”
One of the arguments Republicans use against student loan relief is that it will benefit high-income Americans who are able to repay their debt.
The sources told the outlet that the conversations are still in the early stages and that many changes could occur before an official plan is announced.
Since his 2020 presidential campaign, Biden has promised to eliminate at least $10,000 in student debt per borrower, but fellow Democrats and activists are pushing for more ahead of the midterm elections.
Biden delayed the issue by continuing to extend the student loan payment freeze that began during the pandemic due to job loss.
Biden extended the resumption of payments twice, with borrowers expected to start paying again in early September.