May 24, 2023
Pressley Slams GOP Effort to Deny Urgently Needed Student Debt Relief
Republican-Led Measure, if Signed into Law, Would Block Debt Cancellation, Harm Public Servants, Wreak Economic Havoc on Over 43 Million Borrowers
Earlier Today, Pressley Delivered Powerful Floor Speech Affirming Impact & Legality of President’s Plan
WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) issued the following statement slamming Republicans’ harmful effort to overturn President Biden’s student debt relief, including his debt cancellation plan, the pause on student loan payments, and the expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. The Republican-led Congressional Review Act resolution, which narrowly passed the House today, would wreak economic havoc on 43 million borrowers, including over 260,000 public service workers.
During floor debate on the measure earlier today, Rep. Pressley delivered a powerful speech in support of President Biden’s plan to cancel student debt, which would benefit millions of people across the country.
“Republicans were barely able to scrape together the votes to pass this measure and that is because student debt relief is popular and desperately needed nationwide.
“That Republicans would seek to overturn President Biden’s life-saving student debt relief is unconscionable but unsurprising. Rather than work to alleviate the burden of the student debt crisis, Republicans are advancing a cruel proposal that would harm 43 million people, hit tens of millions of borrowers with surprise loan bills, and reinstate the debt of over 260,000 public service workers—including our nurses, educators, firefighters, and servicemembers.
“The Senate must vote down this measure. The President has made clear he would veto this harmful resolution and stands by his decisive action on student debt relief.
“Millions of people, from all walks of life, stand to benefit from the President’s plan, and we won’t stop fighting to deliver the relief the people demand and deserve.”
Specifically, the measure passed by House Republicans today would:
- Block the President’s student debt cancellation program;
- Roll back at least four months of paused payments and $5 billion per month in waived interest charges, requiring the U.S. Department of Education to send surprise loan bills to tens of millions of borrowers and could even impact the eighth payment pause;
- Force the Department of Education to reinstate already-cancelled debts under PSLF for hundreds of thousands of public service workers; and
- Claw back progress towards relief under PSLF and Income-Driven Repayment for hundreds of thousands of borrowers.
Rep. Pressley has been a leading voice in Congress urging President Biden to cancel student debt. Following years of advocacy by Rep. Pressley—in partnership with colleagues, borrowers, and advocates—the Biden-Harris Administration announced a historic plan to cancel student debt that stands to benefit over 40 million people.
- On April 5, 2023, Rep. Pressley and Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote to the CEO of SoFi Technologies and SoFi Lending Corp calling on the company to answer for its lawsuits attempting to end the student loan payment pause and force borrowers back into repayment.
- On March 7, 2023, Rep. Pressley, along with Sens. Warren, Schumer, Sanders, Padilla and Reps. Clyburn, Omar and Wilson led a letter to the Biden Administration expressing continued support for President Biden’s student debt relief plan.
- On February 28, 2023, Rep. Pressley rallied with borrowers and advocates outside the Supreme Court to call on the Supreme Court to affirm the legality of President Biden’s student debt cancellation plan.
- On November 22, 2022, Rep. Pressley issued a statement applauding the extension of the student loan payment pause.
- On October 25, 2022, Rep. Pressley and Senator Warren toured communities across Massachusetts to celebrate the Biden administration’s student debt cancellation plan and help residents sign up for student loan relief.
- On October 12, 2022, Rep. Pressley joined parent borrowers and advocates for a discussion on the impacts of student debt cancellation on parents and families.
- On September 29, 2022, Rep. Pressley, along with Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Reps. Omar, Jones and advocates, held a press conference to call for swift and equitable implementation of President Biden’s student debt cancellation plan.
- On September 21, 2022, Rep. Pressley delivered a powerful speech on the House floor in which she heralded President Biden’s action to cancel student debt for millions of families in the Massachusetts 7th and across the nation. Watch the full video here.
- On September 12, 2022, Rep. Pressley and Senator Warren wrote to the nine federal student loan servicers to inquire about how they are providing borrowers with accurate and timely information about student loan cancellation.
- On August 24, 2022, Congresswoman Pressley issued a statement applauding President Biden’s action to cancel student debt.
- On August 10, 2022, Congresswoman Pressley and Senator Warren Massachusetts joined Massachusetts union leaders in Dorchester for a roundtable discussion on student debt cancellation.
- On July 18, 2022, Congresswoman Pressley delivered remarks at the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) national convention and renewed her calls for President Biden to cancel student debt by executive action.
- On July 8, 2022, Congresswoman Pressley with The Debt Collective hosted a virtual roundtable with student debt holders from all walks of life to highlight the intersectional burden the nearly $2 trillion student debt crisis has had on individuals and families.
- On June 22, 2022, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, with Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, joined AFL-CIO and union leaders for a roundtable discussion on the importance of student debt cancellation for American workers.
- On May 20, 2022, Congresswoman Pressley applauded the Congressional Black Caucus’ (CBC) statement calling on President Biden to cancel student loan debt.
- On May 4, 2022, Congresswoman Pressley visited Bunker Hill Community College to celebrate the $1 million in federal community project funding she secured and continued her calls for President Biden to cancel student debt.
- On March 17, 2022, Congresswoman Pressley and Arisha Hatch, vice president and chief of campaigns at Color of Change, published an op-ed in Grio calling on President Biden to use his executive order authority to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt per borrower.
- On December 8, 2021, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a bicameral letter to President Joe Biden releasing new data about the adverse impact of restarting student loan payments and calling on him to act to cancel up to $50,000 of student debt.
- On December 2, 2021, Congresswoman Pressley delivered remarks on the House floor in which she reiterated her calls for President Biden to cancel $50,000 in federal student loan debt by executive action.
- On October 8, 2021, Representatives Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar and their House colleagues sent a letter to President Biden and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona urging him to release the memo to determine the extent of the administration’s authority to broadly cancel student debt through administrative action.
- On July 29, 2021, Congresswoman Pressley issued a statement reaffirming President Biden’s authority – and the urgency – to cancel student loan debt.
- On June 23, 2021, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Congressman Joe Courtney led their colleagues on a bicameral letter to President Biden calling on him to extend the pause on federal student loan payments.
- On April 13, 2021, Congresswoman Pressley testified at a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Policy hearing to examine the student loan debt crisis in our country.
- On April 1, 2021, Congresswoman Pressley, along with Senator Elizabeth Warren and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, held a press conference calling President Biden to tackle the student loan debt crisis.
- On February 4, 2021, Congresswoman Pressley, along with several Democratic House and Senate leaders, led their colleagues in reintroducing a bicameral resolution outlining a bold plan for President Biden to tackle the student loan debt crisis.
- On December 17, 2020, Representatives Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Maxine Waters, and Alma Adams introduced a resolution outlining a bold plan for President-elect Joe Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in Federal student loan debt for student loan borrowers.
- On December 10, 2020, Congresswoman Pressley was in Yahoo Finance urging the Biden administration to cancel student debt, stressing the impact on Black borrowers.
- On May 8, 2020, Representatives Ayanna Pressley, Alma Adams, and Ilhan Omar, led 28 of their colleagues and sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy calling for the universal, one-time, student debt cancellation of at least $30,000 per borrower in the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation.
- On March 23, 2020, Representatives Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar introduced the Student Debt Emergency Relief Act, legislation that provides immediate monthly payment relief for federal student loan borrowers.
- On March 17, 2020, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and Senator Elizabeth Warren were on The Hill calling on congressional leadership to include student debt cancellation in the next coronavirus relief package.
- On October 11, 2019, Congresswoman Pressley introduced legislation – the Ending Debt Collection Harassment Act – to protect consumers from abusive debt collection.
- On July 17, 2019, Congresswomen Pressley introduced legislation – the Student Borrower Credit Improvement Act – to provide much needed support to private student loan borrowers with a pathway to financial stability by helping them improve their credit.