1 Year Ago, Pelosi Said Biden Did Not Have the Power to Cancel Student Loan Debt – Now She's Praising the Move


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is hailing President Joe Biden’s decision to cancel student loan debt for millions of Americans.

After Biden announced his move to cancel up to $10,000 in student loan debt per borrower, Pelosi issued a statement calling it a “bold action.”

“President Biden’s bold action is a strong step in Democrats’ fight to expand access to higher education and empower every American to reach fulfillment,” Pelosi said.

She continued, “By delivering historic targeted student debt relief to millions of borrowers, more working families will be able to meet their kitchen table needs as they continue to recover from the challenges of the pandemic. Importantly, this action will help those most in need, easing a financial burden disproportionately harming women and people of color.”

“President Biden and Congressional Democrats remain laser-focused on putting People Over Politics: lowering costs, creating better-paying jobs and building safer communities,” Pelosi added.

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On Wednesday, Biden unveiled his student loan forgiveness plan, as IJR reported.

Under the plan, $20,000 of debt would be forgiven for students who went to college on Pell Grants.

And $10,000 in student loan debt will be forgiven for borrowers who did not receive Pell Grants.

Do you think Pelosi's 2021 comments were right?

Just over a year ago, Pelosi had a different stance on whether Biden could cancel student loan debt without Congressional action.

During a July 2021 press briefing, the top House Democrat said, “People think that the President of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness. He does not.”

“He can postpone, he can delay, but he does not have that power. That has to be an act of Congress,” she continued.

She said that student loan forgiveness is a legitimate policy discussion. However, she reiterated, “The president can’t do it. So that’s not even a discussion.”

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who have been proponents of Biden taking executive action to cancel student loan debt, also released a statement praising the move.

“With the flick of a pen, President Biden has taken a giant step forward in addressing the student debt crisis by cancelling significant amounts of student debt for millions of borrowers,” the senators said, adding “The positive impact of this move will be felt by families across the country, particularly in minority communities, and is the single most effective action that the President can take on his own to help working families and the economy.”

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