AOC Says Biden’s Debt Relief Plan Could Be Better

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Friday joined economic justice advocates in reprimanding President Joe Biden’s reported plan to cancel just $10,000 in federal student loans for a means-tested roster of borrowers, warning that the proposal is too small for those who want it. most need, while many who are desperate for relief are left out.

“$10,000 [of] Forgiveness is just enough to anger the people against it and the people most in need of forgiveness,” the New York Democrat said. “We can do better.”

Ocasio-Cortez responded to reports of the plan, which would provide relief to those earning less than $150,000 in the previous year, while advocates held a swift response outside the White House to demand that the Biden administration provide more ambitious aid. .

The congressman was one of the critics who noted that many students who borrow money pay off thousands of dollars in interest, which “will quickly undo that $10,000.”

“$10,000 student loan debt forgiveness just isn’t enough,” said Lauren Miller, director of communications at the Harvard Institute of Politics. “Especially if it doesn’t come with a massive cut in interest rates, a ban on federal aid to enter for-profit colleges, a massive increase in Pell Grants and free public colleges.”

After the rapid response protests were announced Friday morning, the Student Borrower Protection Center announced that a “historic coalition” of 529 labor and civil rights groups had called on President Joe Biden to cancel at least $50,000 in student debt per borrower, as Representative Ayanna Pressley said. (D-Mass.) and Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) have suggested.

The groups include national unions such as the UAW and the SEIU, as well as the NAACP.

The support for broad support from unions refutes claims by corporate Democrats, Republicans and White House officials that large-scale student loan relief would unfairly benefit the wealthy, one critic said.

As Max Moran and Hannah Story Brown of the Revolving Door Project wrote in a Common dreams Published Friday, the government’s insistence on an “artificially limited” plan capped at $10,000 will “fall hardest on the most vulnerable.”

“For 83% of black borrowers, canceling just $10,000 in debt would still leave them with a balance greater than their original amount,” Moran and Brown wrote, as the median student debt for these borrowers has quadrupled over the past two decades. from $7,000 to $30,000.

“What should be an opportunity to energize voters young and old, especially voters of color, may instead become a bureaucratic mess that offers too little relief for too much complexity — which is exactly what student loan takers want from a loan forgiveness policy, if we want one at all,” they added.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) said Biden’s reported plan doesn’t go “as far and as deep as the pain” as she called for more “bold” and “meaningful” reforms.

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