Breitbart reports Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) as confirming that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is currently investigating whether President Joe Biden has the authority to cancel a large portion of student loan debt via executive order.
Schumer said as much at a press conference that he held on Monday alongside Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ).
The press conference was about how the $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill that was recently passed “sets the stage” for canceling federal student loan debt.
Schumer and Warren, in particular, have been urging Biden to cancel $50,000 in student loan debt for some time now arguing that he has the authority, under the Higher Education Act, to do so by way of executive order. Such an approach would be necessary because, as Schumer pointed out on Monday, congressional Republicans are not on board with canceling student loan debt.
“For much of American history, education has been a ladder up,” Schumer said on Monday during his Senate floor speech. “For too many these days, student debt has become the anchor weighing them down—making it harder to start a family, buy a home, plan a career, and so much more.”
Schumer continued to make his case in a series of Tweets that he published on Monday night.
“A disproportionate burden of student debt falls on people of color,” Schumer wrote in one. “President Biden can #CancelStudentDebt student debt to help close the racial wealth gap.”
Warren similarly told reporters that Biden can “fix with a stroke of a pen” the problem referred to by Schumer.
One of Schumer’s many problems . . .
. . . with this particular idea is that President Biden does not appear to be on board with it. Just recently, Biden flat out said that he “will not” try to carry out Schumer’s plan.
Biden, on previous occasions, has questioned the legality of using a presidential executive order to cancel student loan debt.
But, Biden is not against canceling student loan debt altogether. He just wants to do so legislatively.
Biden has specifically talked about canceling $10,000 in student loans as part of a coronavirus relief package. Such a provision, though, was not included in the recently-passed $1.9 trillion bill. More recently, the White House has said that the Biden administration is looking at ways to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt.