Senator Elizabeth Warren has called on President-elect Joe Biden to cancel billions of dollars in student loan debt to his administration ahead of schedule.
The Massachusetts Democrat, whose name has been circulated as Secretary of the Treasury, posted a Twitter thread on Thursday morning explaining some of the “big changes that a Biden-Harris administration can achieve on day one.
“1. Biden-Harris can cancel billions of dollars in student loan debt, giving tens of millions of Americans an immediate financial boost and helping to close the racial wealth gap,” Warren wrote. “This is the most effective executive measure available for a massive economic recovery.
1 Biden-Harris can cancel billions of dollars in student loan debt, giving an immediate financial boost to tens of millions of Americans and helping to close the racial wealth gap. This is the most effective executive measure available for a massive economic recovery.
– Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) November 12, 2020
Warren also cited the reduction of drug prices, the introduction of a minimum wage of $15 and the “prioritization of strong anti-monopoly protection and enforcement” as possible first-day measures.
“Biden-Harris ran on the most progressive economic and racial justice platform of all candidates for the general election. Now is not the time to hand over the keys to corporate lobbyists,” the senator added.
During the campaign, Biden proposed to create a program that would provide $10,000 in debt relief for students or graduates for each year that national or community services are provided. He also called for public colleges and universities to be made free of charge for all families with incomes under $125,000.
The burden of student loans in the United States is about $1.6 trillion, according to a report by credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service, released earlier this year. The amount of debt owed today has doubled compared to ten years ago.
Warren is not the only lawmaker to demand the cancellation of student loans. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) proposed that Biden be allowed to cancel a large amount of student debt in the first 100 days of his term as president in a package of FDR-style proposals.
“I have a proposal with Elizabeth Warren to cancel the first $50,000 debt, and we believe that Joe Biden can do this with a ballpoint pen, contrary to legislation,” Schumer told author Anand Giridharadas in a pre-election interview.
While President Donald Trump has still not given up on the presidential race – which the Associated Press and other news agencies called for Biden on November 7 – President Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are moving ahead with their transition plans.
The Biden campaign updated its transition website to present four key issues that the new administration will prioritize: the coronavirus pandemic, economic recovery, racial equality and climate change. So far, the website does not contain any information about the student loan crisis.
“A Biden Harris administration, driven by the foundations laid by the transition, will lead a just and balanced recovery that will rebuild a strong, inclusive middle class and create an economy for the future,” the website says.
Washington Newsday asked Biden’s representatives to comment on Warren’s proposals.