President Joe Biden tapped Richard Cordray, the former director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to head the Education Department’s student loan office, Secretary Miguel Cardona announced this week.
Cordray will serve as the chief operating officer of Federal Student Aid for the Education Department. He has been a fierce critic of the student-loan industry, giving leftists hope that he will lead the Biden administration’s attempt to eliminate student-loan debt.
“Education has made all the difference in life for my family and me, and it has been the foundation of progress in this country for generations,” Cordray said in a statement. “But too many students find that access to affordable, good-quality higher education remains far out of reach.”
He said he hopes to “create more pathways for students to graduate and get ahead, not be burdened by insurmountable debt.”
Progressives have been pressuring Biden to forgive up to $50,000 in federal student debt per borrower through executive action.
In February, the White House said Biden would review his legal authority to forgive student loans via executive order, though Biden has refused to commit to doing so.
While Cordray has not taken a public stance on student loan debt forgiveness, he has suggested that he would be open to it.
“Certainly, we’re facing big decisions right now about the federal student loan program, about financing education, and about what to do about accumulated debt,” he said. “Those are policy issues, but they depend greatly on sound operations to make things run effectively, all over the country.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., one of the leading leftists in push to forgive student loan debt, praised Biden’s decision to pick Cordray.
She said in a statement that Cordray would bring “much needed accountability to the federal student loan program.”