Biden sent a letter in April to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to ask him to release information that outlines what legal authority he has to cancel student debt. In response to Biden’s letter, chief of staff Ron Klain stated at the time that the memo would be released shortly after Cardona had settled into his position.
The Minnesota Democrat’s letter, addressed to Biden and Cardona, points out that Klain had stated six months ago that the memo regarding the information on Biden’s legal authority to cancel student debt would be released soon. The letter adds that “only four months” remain of the student debt moratorium.
On Aug. 6, the U.S. Department of Education released a statement extending the deadline for the student debt moratorium to Jan. 31, 2022. This served as the “final extension” of pause on student debt payments and collections.
“The payment pause has been a lifeline that allowed millions of Americans to focus on their families, health, and finances instead of student loans during the national emergency,” Cardon said in the statement. “As our nation’s economy continues to recover from a deep hole, this final extension will give students and borrowers the time they need to plan for restart and ensure a smooth pathway back to repayment.”
Omar additionally argues in her letter that “decades ago,” Congress allowed for the executive branch of the United States to have the legal authority to cancel federal student loans. Several scholars and roughly 80 lawmakers in the House and Senate also “confirm” the president has the legal authority to waive student debt.
“The time has come to release the memo and cancel student debt,” the letter continues, adding that “it is time” for Biden to honor his campaign promise to cancel student debt.
Since the start of Biden’s presidency, the Biden administration has canceled student debt in select situations. On Aug. 19, the U.S. Department of Education announced it would eliminate student debt for those with permanent disabilities. A day later, the Education Department waived the interest loans of over 47,000 service members.
Student debt in the U.S. reached a towering $1 trillion in 2021, according to data from the Federal Reserve.
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Original Author: Elizabeth Faddis
Original Location: Ilhan Omar calls on Biden to fulfill promise of canceling student debt