Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has recently expressed some doubt in the idea of student debt forgiveness, a policy that is loved by many Democrats in the party today, which has led many individuals on her side of the aisle to be upset with her.
On Tuesday of this week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer from New York, along with Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, held a press conference where they listed the benefits of pausing, and in a few cases ending, federal student loan payments.
After asking President Biden to extend the federal pause on debt payments, Schumer stated that the move “has actually shown how important canceling student debt is to borrowers and to our economy.” He asserted that “ten times over, canceling $50,000 in debt would be even more important and helpful to these folks who are borrowers, to get the economy going, and to deal with the racial inequality which student debt has exacerbated.”
“All President Biden has to do is flick his pen and sign it,” Schumer went on to say. “Make America a happier, better, more prosperous place. We’re going to keep fighting until this happens.”
Weighing into the debate on Wednesday, Pelosi disagreed with the premise that Biden can unilaterally cancel student debt.
“People think that the president of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness,” she stated during a recent press conference. “He does not. He can postpone, he can delay, but he does not have that power. That has to be an act of Congress.”
The lawmaker then went on to question the very premise that forgiving student loan debt is a good idea.
“Suppose,” the speaker said, “your child at this time does not want to go to college, but you’re paying taxes to forgive someone else’s obligation. You may not be happy about that.”
Progressives were quick as lightning to put out statements expressing their disagreement with Pelosi’s take on the issue.
“Suppose your child did not want to go fight countless and endless shadow wars across the globe, at this time, but you’re paying taxes to fund all of that,” tweeted Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) in a post published on Twitter that was then retweeted by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). “You may not be happy about it!”
“This is an argument against every public good and that’s not how public goods work,” added 1619 Project founder and New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones. “Why should we pay, then, for public school if our kids attend private or we have no kids? Why pay for libraries if we choose to and have the ability to buy books instead of borrow?”
“If the Democrats are going to send someone out to malign and oppose a program designed to help people get out from their inescapable mountain of college debt, shouldn’t they find someone who isn’t worth $115 million to deliver the message, just for the sake of appearance?” author Glenn Greenwald went on to suggest.
“This CPAC footage is nuts,” another user added.