Biden to consider canceling student loan debt, lawmakers say after meeting 

President Biden reportedly signaled to Congressional Hispanic Caucus members that they'd be very happy with what he does next.

President Joe Biden is signaling that he is open to considering the cancellation of student loan debt. 

The Washington Post is reporting that Biden met with House Democrats and indicated that he is prepared to make major moves to relieve student loan debt, an action that could include canceling loans of tens of thousands of dollars owed by many Americans. 

President Joe Biden speaks during a recent trip to the Pacific Northwest, where he made stops in Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington. (Photo: Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

According to the report, Biden signaled that he was prepared to use his executive authority to cancel some of the debt during a lengthy meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Monday, as revealed by two members who attended and two aides briefed on its details. 

There is currently a moratorium on student loans that has been in effect since the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. There has been significant public pressure to cancel the debt more than two years later; progressives have urged the Biden White House to cancel the debt instead of continuing to extend the moratorium. 

The Post reports that the president is open to a plan that could target lower-and middle-income borrowers. 

Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas of California initially asked Biden to extend the moratorium again, and the president noted that he has done so every time. Cárdenas then asked Biden to issue an executive order to eliminate at least $10,000 in debt per person, arguing that many Latinos who have student loan debt still owe more than 80% of the balance after more than a decade. 

According to The Washington Post, Biden was “incredibly positive” about that idea. In fact, he reportedly assured the lawmakers they would be very happy with what he does next. 

In an op-ed for theGrio published last month, Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Arisha Hatch detailed how student loan debt affects African Americans, particularly women.

“The student debt crisis is one that uniquely affects Black women, who are the most educated and indebted demographic group in our country,” they wrote. “Generations of policy violence and discriminatory policies like redlining and predatory lending have denied our families the opportunity to build wealth and have forced us to take on crushing amounts of debt that have severely limited our economic futures. Black women owe 22 percent more than the average student debt load of white women and are the most systematically underpaid — earning just 64 cents to every dollar earned by white men.”

Any action on relieving student loan debt could be positive for Democrats ahead of the midterm elections, however, Biden remains sensitive to ensuring that the announcement would not add to inflation. 

The Post notes that before the 2020 election, the president favored a plan to cancel at least $10,000 in student debt per person and for those earning less than $25,000 a year to not have to make monthly payments or accrue interest. He has not yet lived up to that expectation. 

“I feel very confident that he is pushing on his team to do something, and to do something significant,” Cárdenas told the newspaper. “That’s my feeling.”

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