Many progressive Democrats and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have backed canceling student loan debt
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President Joe Biden did not mention student loans at all in his State of the Union address, much to the dismay of many progressive Democrats, who have wanted him to cancel student loans.
Most of Mr Biden’s address focused on reducing the deficit and combating inflation, which is at the top of the mind of most voters. He similarly denounced defunding the police, which many Democrats worry is an albatross.
Mr Biden only mentioned higher education briefly in his remarks.
“Let’s increase Pell Grants and increase our historic support of HBCUs, and invest in what Jill – our first lady who teaches full-time – calls America’s best-kept secret: community colleges,” he said. Mr Biden’s wife Dr Jill Biden is a professor at a community college.
Some progressives hoped Mr Biden would cancel student debt.
“RT if you want @POTUS to announce he’s canceling all student loan debt tomorrow!” Rep Jamaal Bowman of New York, a member of the “Squad” of progressive lawmakers, tweeted the day before the State of the Union address.
Similarly, Rep Rashida Tlaib of Michigan listed it as one of the items that Mr Biden can do without Congress acting.
“He can cancel student loan debt, which would be a lifeline for millions of Americans and a transformative economic stimulus,” she said in her response to the State of the Union address organised by the Working Families Party.
But progressives aren’t the only ones who wanted the president to cancel student debt. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer co-wrote an op-ed with the president of the NAACP Derrick Johnson calling for cancellation, arguing it would reduce the racial wealth gap.
Mr Biden continued the pause on student debt that was instated during the coronavirus pandemic, which was initiated by Mr Trump, but has yet to announce whether he would cancel it.
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