Congressman Gomez Joins Colleagues to Introduce Resolution Asking President Biden to Cancel Federal Student Loan Debt Immediately
Washington, February 4, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) joined United States Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) to reintroduce their bicameral resolution outlining a bold plan for President Biden to tackle the student loan debt crisis by using existing authority under the Higher Education Act to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt for Federal student loan borrowers. The resolution calls on the President to use executive authority to cancel student loan debt and ensure there is no tax liability for Federal student loan borrowers resulting from administrative debt cancellation.
Today, over 43 million people in the United States are buried under $1.6 trillion in federal student loan debt. Studies show that cancelling student debt would substantially increase Black and Latinx household wealth and help narrow the racial wealth gap, provide immediate relief to millions of Americans during the pandemic and recession, and provide massive consumer-driven stimulus to our economy.
Over 325 civil rights, climate, health, labor, consumer rights, and student organizations have called on President Biden to cancel federal student debt using executive action, including American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, The Education Trust, Hispanic Federation, NAACP, National Urban League, UnidosUS, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Minority Veterans of America, National Women's Law Center, SEIU, the American Psychological Association, Sunrise Movement, the United States Student Association, and Young Invincibles.
Congress has already granted the Secretary of Education the legal authority to broadly cancel student debt under section 432(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1082(a)), which gives the Secretary the authority to modify, "... compromise, waive, or release any right, title, claim, lien, or demand, however acquired, including any equity or any right of redemption." The Department of Education has used this authority to implement modest relief for federal student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For a PDF of the resolution, please click here.
The following Members of Congress also signed onto the resolution: Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Bernard Sanders (I-VT), along with Representatives Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Maxine Waters (CA-43), Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, Alma Adams (NC-12), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Ritchie Torres (NY-15), Nanette Barragan (CA-44), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Cori Bush (MO-01), Yvette Clarke (NY-09), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Jesus "Chuy" Garcia (IL-04), Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Raul Grijalva (AZ-03), Alcee Hastings (FL-02), Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Hank Johnson (GA-04), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Al Lawson (FL-05), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Andy Levin (MI-09), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Grace Meng (NY-06), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Grace Napolitano (CA-32), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (NY-14), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Albio Sires (NJ-08), Bennie Thompson (MS-02), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Nydia Velazquez (NY-07), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Nikema Williams (GA-05), Frederica Wilson (FL-24), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Brendan Boyle (PA-02), André Carson (IN-07), and Mark Pocan (WI-02).