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Members of the Congressional Black Caucus Request Meeting with Biden Over Student Debt

‘This is a crisis created through policy decisions, and we have a responsibility to address it head-on,’ said Ohio Representative Joy Beatty

The leader of the Congressional Black Caucus wants President Joe Biden to cancel student debt through executive order.

The coalition has requested a meeting with the president to discuss the issue.

“The $1.7 trillion student loan debt crisis is a racial and economic justice issue disproportionately impacting Black communities across the nation,” said Ohio Representative Joy Beatty in a statement published on May 20, per The Hill.

“We are calling on the Biden Administration to implement broad-based student loan debt cancellation by executive action,” Beatty said. “We are committed to working with the Administration to explore all options and we are requesting to meet with the President.”

“This is a crisis created through policy decisions, and we have a responsibility to address it head-on,” said the congresswoman.

Beatty said that canceling student loan debt would “address ongoing economic and racial inequities plaguing” the United States of America.

“As representatives of more than 17 million Black Americans and 80 million Americans, the urgency of this moment requires we move with intention,” she said. “In order to reduce the racial wealth gap and advance a just and equitable economic recovery for all, we must alleviate the burden of student debt. Nothing is off the table, except inaction.”

During his presidential campaign, Biden promised to address the nation’s student loan debt.

Biden has indicated he may forgive around $10,000 of student loan debt per borrower.

About 43 million people in the US hold federal student loans, and Black college graduates owe an average of $25,000 more in student loan debt compared to White college graduates, according to the Education Data Initiative,” reports Bloomberg. “Black borrowers also are more likely to struggle financially due to student loan debt.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Ayanna Pressley have called on the president to forgive $50,000 in student loan debt per borrower. 

In this moment of a so-called reckoning on racial injustice, the only receipts that matter are policies and budgets,” Pressley said in a December statement in Congress. “Failure to act would be unconscionable. And so we must move with urgency as we continue the work of building a just an equitable recovery from the current economic crisis. Broad based, across the board, permanent student debt cancellation must remain front and center. The people — the broad and diverse coalition that elected President Biden — demand, deserve and require nothing less. “

Their request is supported by both Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Raphael Warnock.

Pressley celebrated the Caucus’s call to the president regarding student loan debt.

“I applaud our esteemed Chairwoman Joyce Beatty for her clarity and purpose. Black women are leading and together we must deliver for those too often left out and left behind,” she said in a press release. “Our communities have waited long enough for relief and President Biden must act without further delay.”

In total, Americans owe $1.75 trillion in private and federal student loan debt. Overall, 92% of student debt comes from federal loans. The average amount owed in 2022 is $28,950.

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