Chuck Schumer says legislation to cancel student debt is unlikely to pass through a partisan Congress.
That's why Biden should cancel student debt using executive action, Schumer said.
Biden is continuing to review his authority to do so as student-loan payments are resuming in 85 days.
With the Senate evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, and a slim Democratic majority in the House, every vote matters when it comes to passing legislation. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says that's why Congress shouldn't even debate student debt legislation - and President Joe Biden should act on it himself.
"You read about the tough time we're having with legislation, the bill to build roads, bills to make prescription drug costs lower, the bills to get a tax break and get our kids out of poverty and get them to get a good education, to help small businesses," Schumer said at a virtual event hosted by Mitú, a Latino digital media company. "Those all require the House and Senate to pass it but these days, with the partisanship, filibuster and all that, it's not so easy."
"The president can do this on his own," Schumer added, referring to student debt cancellation.
Schumer and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren have been leading efforts in calling on Biden to cancel $50,000 in student debt per borrower. Warren previously said during a press call that going the legislative route for debt cancellation would take too long, especially with infrastructure and reconciliation bills being the tops of lawmakers' agendas at the time.
Warren even promised during her presidential campaign to cancel $50,000 in student debt per borrower, and while Biden campaigned on approving $10,000 in student debt cancellation, he has yet to fulfill that promise, and his administration says he is still reviewing his authority for broad student debt cancellation.
But, as Insider reported last week, Biden's administration has known whether he has had that authority since at least April. The Debt Collective, the nation's first debtors' union, obtained documents and internal Education Department emails via a Freedom of Information Act request that showed a first draft of the memo - titled "The Secretary's Legal Authority for Broad-Based Debt Cancellation" - has existed since April 5.
Still, his administration continues to say they are still examining the authority and have not commented on the release of the redacted memo.
And with student-loan payments expected to resume in 85 days after being on pause for what will be nearly two years, Warren and Schumer remain adamant broad cancellation is the best way to give borrowers needed relief quickly.
"Cancelling $50,000 in student debt would completely wipe out student loans for 84% of borrowers, including more than 3 million borrowers who have been repaying their loans for more than 20 years," Warren previously told Insider. "This is the single most effective executive action President Biden could take to jumpstart our economy and begin to narrow the racial wealth gap."
Read the original article on Business Insider