Updated Feb 17, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Warren, Schumer double down on push to cancel student debt after Biden rejects plan

Warren and Schumer stand next to each other.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Rep. Ilhan Omar, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren at a press conference on student loan debt on Feb. 4. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) doubled down Wednesday on demands that President Biden cancel up to $50,000 in federal student debt for all borrowers.

Why it matters: Biden said at a Tuesday town hall that he is "prepared to write off" $10,000 worth of student debt for borrowers, but no more than that.

  • The united front from Schumer and Warren, continued from last fall, exemplifies unity between progressives and Democratic leadership as they lobby Biden to take more action to offset economic upheaval during the pandemic.

What they're saying: "Presidents Obama and Trump used their executive authority to cancel student loan debt," Schumer and Warren said in a statement on Wednesday.

  • "Cancelling $50,000 in federal student loan debt will help close the racial wealth gap, benefit the 40% of borrowers who do not have a college degree, and help stimulate the economy. It's time to act. We will keep fighting,"

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that Biden has told Schumer and Warren that the Justice Department needs to review his legal authority to take executive action on student debt. In the meantime, he would be "eager to sign" a package to relieve $10,000 of debt, she said.

Where it stands: Federal student loans are currently in forbearance through September 2021.

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