On Tuesday, President Joe Biden took part in CNN’s town hall, and he’s once again expressed his apprehension regarding canceling student loan debt. Democrats have been pushing to cancel up to $50,000 in said debt since Biden won the election, and now he’s shot down the idea once again—even though he’s open to other forms of loan forgiveness.
“I will not make that happen,” Biden said when asked by an audience member if he would commit to canceling at least $50,000 in debt. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren are among some of the most notable Democrats to call on Biden to cancel $50K per borrower. A bicameral resolution was reintroduced by a number of Democrats earlier this month, CNN notes, asserting that Biden has the executive power to make it happen.
Biden went on to say students who went to schools such as “Harvard and Yale and Penn” should not have their debt forgiven, but Congress should be making changes through legislation. “My point is: I understand the impact of debt, and it can be debilitating," Biden continued. "I am prepared to write off the $10,000 debt but not 50 [thousand], because I don't think I have the authority to do it.”
When the resolution was reintroduced earlier this month, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki threw out a similiar figure for student loan debt forgiveness. “The President has and continues to support canceling $10,000 of federal student loan debt per person as a response to the Covid crisis," she said. At the time, Psaki suggested the administration is open to reviewing an executive option, but it appears Biden thinks calling on Congress to draft a proposal is the ideal path forward. In December, Biden remarked it would be “unlikely” he would use executive power for debt forgiveness.
Elsewhere in the town hall event, Biden spoke extensively about America’s plans for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. He said anyone who wants to get a vaccine will be able to get one by the end of July, and he hopes to get almost every schoolchild in America back to school within the next 100 days.
The topic of Trump also briefly came up, but Biden made it clear how he feels. “I’m tired of talking about Donald Trump,” he said.