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Pelosi Says Biden Does Not Have the Power To Cancel Student Loan Debt

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President Joe Biden is facing pressure from some Senate Democrats to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt per borrower through executive action.

However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) disputes the notion that the president can unilaterally cancel student loan debt.

During a press conference on Wednesday, the California 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 would best 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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Pelosi also suggested that the policy may not be too popular, “Suppose…your child just decided they, at this time, [do] not want to go to college but you’re paying taxes to forgive somebody else’s obligations. You may not be happy about that.”

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) again called on Biden to take unilateral action to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt per borrower.

“All President Biden has to do is flick his pen, sign it,” Schumer said.

In March, Warren pressed Biden to cancel student loan debt as she said, “When he does that, he will close the racial wealth gap between Blacks and whites who have student loan debt by 25 points, between Latinos and others by 25 points. There’s not a single thing he could do on his own in one fell swoop to make that kind of difference.”

Biden has said he is “prepared” to cancel up to $10,000 in student loan debt. However, he stated that he is not prepared to cancel up to $50,000, as IJR reported.

He also believes that he does not have the power to cancel student loan debt unilaterally and would need Congress to pass legislation to cancel the loan debt.

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