November 21st, 2020
toggle author

Biden calls for ‘immediate’ congressional action on student loan forgiveness, but Schumer says executive action open as well

President-elect Joe Biden, on Monday, called for “Immediate $10,000 forgiveness of student loans, helping people up there in real trouble.” Biden said, “It should be done immediately.It cannot be done immediately unless Biden takes executive action on his first day in office. Democrats would need to see two wins in Georgia's January runoff elections for them to take control of the Senate and pass the bill. Considering his predecessor's propensity to take executive action on everything he possibly could, I think it is Biden's moral duty to provide relief immediately to working-class families.
Biden’s comment came after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen.
This use of the Higher Education Act would represent a massive expansion and perversion of Congress' original intent of the law as written. This is exactly the type of terrifying Executive power creep that the left bemoaned under Presidents Bush and Trump, and that President Obama engaged in repeatedly. Politicians on both sides show signs of a dangerous addiction to rule by fiat.Biden does not support the higher education act. He explicitly supports the HEROES act. While the issue of executive power is one worth talking about, it is not a legitimate response to the issue at hand, which is taking place in a society where the executive power exists and is used similarly by every administration. The benefit of the act itself is what the topic of this article is on.Elizabeth Warren urged Biden to forgive up to $50,000 for each student loan borrower.“We believe that Joe Biden can do that with the pen as opposed to legislation,” Schumer said.
Schumer says Biden can use the authority under the Higher Education Act to take such executive action.
As per Schumer, such an action could mean total forgiveness for more than 75% and partial forgiveness for over 95% of the borrowers.
A Biden official later clarified to Fox News that the president-elect was not referring to an executive action to forgive $10,000 of student loan debt, but meant a congressional action on the same.
This could all prove to be a moot exercise however, as multiple cases are open in the courts, many states have not been certified and President Trump has not conceded. Therefore, Former Vice-President Joe Biden is not yet President-Elect.When watching the footage of Joe Biden answering a reporter's question on November 16th, 2020 (like provided), it is verified that Joe Biden was referring specifically to the HEROES act (H.R. 6800) which, amongst many other financial stimulus provisions, provides up to $10,000 in student loan forgiveness for persons in financial distress. The requirements for financial distress are quite stringent under Fedloan Services policy.
A congressional action on the matter is unlikely to gain traction unless Democrats get a majority in the Senate.
Even an executive action on the subject would face a legal challenge.
There are arguments both for and against forgiving student loan.
Those in favor argue that it’s fundamentally immoral to put people under debt for education and that such a debt is causing financial hardships to many, particularly in the Black community.As Josh Hammer wrote for Newsweek "Such a bailout is inherently regressive, as it would disproportionately benefit woke children who decided they could afford four years of the decadent ivory tower wasteland, and disproportionately harm taxpayers who themselves did not go to college. Such a bailout would also be manifestly unfair to those graduates who have diligently worked to pay off their loans in earnest" The moral hazard is extreme.Forgiving a small amount of student loan debt for only those who are financially struggling is not in any way addressing the root causes of this problem. Making a living that is enough to support a family and pay the bills (and save for emergencies) requires either university education or technical training, both of which come at a great cost to the student.
Those against it argue that it would be unfair to those who already paid back their loans, or never went to college.
College-educated people are a benefit to society. College graduates pay hundreds of thousands of dollars more in taxes on average than their non-college-educated counterparts. They are nearly five times less likely to go to jail or prison. They are nearly 4 times less likely to be a smoker. They are 4.7 times more charitable with their time and money and are more trusted and interactive in their communities.


Daisy Navidson
Left Analyst
Right Analyst