“We have come to the conclusion that President Biden can undo this debt, can forgive $50,000 of debt the first day he becomes president,” Schumer said, according to CNBC. “You don’t need Congress. All you need is the flick of a pen.”
The comment reflects a plan Schumer introduced a few months ago alongside Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., which called on Biden to bypass Congress altogether and cancel student debt.
Schumer and Warren argued in an op-ed last week that “broad cancellation of student debt would give tens of millions of Americans $200 to $300 more to spend and save each month.”
“College should be a ladder up but student debt makes it an anchor down. For far too many students and graduate students, some years out of school, student loans and federal student loans are becoming a forever burden,” Schumer insisted.
Biden has not yet committed to forgiving student debt if he takes office, nor has he said whether he believes the president has the authority to do so.
He did, however, suggest that he is leaning towards taking executive action.
“They’re in real trouble,” Biden said about student loan borrowers at a recent press conference. “They’re having to make choices between paying their student loan and paying the rent, those kinds of decisions. It should be done immediately.”
Constitutional experts estimate that such sweeping executive action would almost certainly face a legal challenge, and it’s unlikely it would survive.
Moreover, forgiving student debt would add to the nation’s already-ballooning national deficit and provide just a minimal bump to the economy, according to a report recently published by the Committee for a Responsible Budget.