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August 6, 2021

Pressley, Warren, Schumer Statement on Extension of Student Loan Payment Pause

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) issued the following statement on the Biden administration’s extension of the pause on federally-held student loan payments:

“We’re pleased the Biden administration has heeded our call to extend the pause on federally-held student loan payments, providing an enormous relief to millions of borrowers facing a disastrous financial cliff. The payment pause has saved the average borrower hundreds of dollars per month, allowing them to invest in their futures and support their families’ needs.

“While this temporary relief is welcome, it doesn’t go far enough. Our broken student loan system continues to exacerbate racial wealth gaps and hold back our entire economy. We continue to call on the administration to use its existing executive authority to cancel $50,000 of student debt. Student debt cancellation is one of the most significant actions that President Biden can take right now to build a more just economy and address racial inequity. We look forward to hearing the administration’s next steps to address the student debt crisis.”

Last month, Rep. Pressley, Sen. Warren, Majority Leader Schumer, and Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) led their colleagues on a bicameral letter to President Biden calling on him to extend the pause on federal student loan payments until at least March 31, 2022, and last week they held a press conference to reiterate those calls.

Earlier this year, Congresswoman Pressley, Senator Warren, and Majority Leader Schumer led their colleagues in reintroducing their bicameral resolution outlining a bold plan for President Biden to tackle the student loan debt crisis by using existing authority under the Higher Education Act to cancel $50,000 in student loan debt for Federal student loan borrowers.

Section 432(a) of the Higher Education Act grants the Secretary of Education legal authority to broadly cancel student loan debt owed to the federal government. The Harvard Law Project on Predatory Lending concluded in this memo that broad student debt cancellation is a lawful and permissible exercise of the Administration’s authority under existing law. 

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