Joe Biden Urged by Democrats to Keep Promise and Cancel Student Debt

President Joe Biden is once again being urged to cancel student loan debt by Democrats.

The Biden administration is not going to extend student loan relief beyond January 31, Forbes reported.

That's despite a group of Democrat senators warning him that resuming federal student loan payments and collections on February 1 would hurt the economy.

In a letter to the president last week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ayanna Pressley warned that resuming the loan payments would strip more than $85 billion from around 18 million families over the next year, citing analysis they requested from the Roosevelt Institute.

"In order to prevent the student debt crisis from dragging down on our economic recovery, undermining the effectiveness of the American Rescue Plan, and causing unnecessary pain and stress for American families, we strongly urge you to extend the pause on student loan payments and interest and act to cancel student debt," they wrote.

Student loan borrowers paid an average of $393 per month toward their student loans before the federal government paused payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the senators wrote.

"These payments hurt individual families and the economy as a whole and will have a significant negative effect if the administration ends the payment pause as scheduled," they said.

The senators noted that the emergence of the Omicron variant serves as "a reminder the virus is still impacting parts of the economy and public health."

The senators continued their calls urging Biden to keep his campaign promise to cancel student debt in recent days.

In an appearance on CNN last week, Warren said recent polling shows that the "overwhelming majority" of people who have student loan debt say they are not ready for payments to resume.

Warren also repeated that resuming student loan payments would hinder the economic recovery. "That's money that's getting spent in local stores, money that moves through this economy and has been a part of the recovery as we've tried to come out of COVID," she told Don Lemon.

"So for me, we need these things to go together: pause student loan repayments and get student loan debt canceled. The president could cancel $50,000 of student loan debt... could do it tonight, President Biden. All you gotta do, pull out a piece of paper and get it done."

Schumer tweeted Monday: "President Biden should #CancelStudentDebt now and help millions of Americans struggling under this burden."

Also on Monday, Pressley tweeted a report that detailed how two-thirds of the outstanding student loan debt in the country is held by woman, and that Black women have the highest student loan debt of any racial or ethnic group.

"The student debt crisis is a racial justice issue. It is a gender justice issue. It is an economic justice issue," Pressley added. "It's time for @POTUS to #CancelStudentDebt."

Rep. Ilhan Omar has also called on Biden to cancel student debt, writing in a recent tweet: "Student loan payments resume in less than 60 days. -89% of borrowers say they aren't financially secure enough to resume their student loan payments. -27% will spend at least a third of their income on their loan payments. @POTUS must lift this burden and cancel student debt."

On the campaign trail, Biden vowed to cancel at least $10,000 of student debt per person.

Since taking office, Biden has worked to forgive student debt for some Americans.

Earlier this year, the White House said Biden had instructed the Education Department to prepare a memo looking into the extent to which he could legally cancel student loans.

The White House has been contacted for comment.

Chuck Schumer/Joe Biden
Left, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) puts on a mask that reads "Cancel Student Debt" during a news briefing on July 27, 2021 in Washington, DC. Right, President Joe Biden answers reporters' questions on December 10, 2021 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images