- Sen. Elizabeth Warren called on Joe Biden to cancel a large portion of student debt without Congress on Thursday.
- “This is the single most effective executive action available for a massive economic stimulus,” she wrote in a tweet.
- Warren and Sen. Chuck Schumer outlined a plan in September arguing the president had authority to cancel student debt by directing the education secretary to do so.
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Sen. Elizabeth Warren said on Thursday that President-elect Joe Biden should cancel a significant portion of student debt without Congress, arguing it could be a powerful economic stimulus measure.
“Biden-Harris can cancel billions of dollars in student loan debt, giving tens of millions of Americans an immediate financial boost and helping to close the racial wealth gap,” the Massachussetts senator wrote in a tweet. “This is the single most effective executive action available for a massive economic stimulus.”
—Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) November 12, 2020
The tweet was one of several identifying possible executive actions that the incoming Biden administration could take on its own. Other measures she identified include:
- Lower drug prices by using federal authority to bypass patents to produce drugs such as insulin.
- Stronger workplace safety regulations.
- A $15 minimum wage for federal contractors.
Warren argued in a Washington Post op-ed published Thursday that the success of several progressive ballot initiatives such as the $15 hourly wage in Florida indicates large swaths of the public back the measures.
“Bold policies to improve opportunity for all Americans are broadly popular,” she wrote. “Voters recognize that these reforms are necessary to fix what is broken in our nation.”
A pair of Senate runoff races in Georgia this January will decide which party controls the Senate. If Republicans maintain control of the chamber, it may be difficult for Biden to achieve many elements of his platform such as tax increases for wealthy individuals and corporations. It’s raised concern among Democrats that Republicans could stymie Biden next year.
Warren and Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the Senate minority leader, outlined a plan in September arguing the president had the authority to cancel up to $50,000 of student debt per borrower. Schumer indicated in a recent interview that the move could form part of Biden’s first 100 days in office.
During the Democratic primaries this year, Warren said she could use executive authority to begin canceling student debt if she won the presidency. She cited an analysis from Harvard University researchers indicating the president could direct the education secretary to cancel student debt on “a broad or categorical basis.”
Biden has proposed forgiving $10,000 in student debt for borrowers as part of a coronavirus relief package.
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