Senate committee assesses economic impact of canceling student debt – FOX13 News Memphis
NATION — More than 40 million Americans today have student loan debt, totaling about $1.75 trillion.
Members of a Senate committee heard Thursday from financial experts about the economic impact of debt and potential solutions.
“Instead of realizing the American dream, borrowers are trapped in economic debt and economic instability,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Finance Committee. urban affairs. “The Biden administration has the power to change the financial lives and futures of millions of borrowers by canceling significant portions of student loan debt.”
The panel heard from two witnesses echoing this call for student debt cancellation.
“Rising debt is producing fewer homeowners and more credit card debt, jeopardizing secure retirements and driving intergenerational debt,” said Mike Pierce, executive director of the Student Borrower Protection Center. “Student debt cancellation is right. It’s fair. It is legal and the only proper response to decades of government mismanagement and industry abuse.
Last month, the US Department of Education announced fixes to the income-contingent repayment (IDR) plan that will provide relief to some borrowers.
“Federal Student Aid (FSA) estimates that these changes will result in immediate debt forgiveness for at least 40,000 borrowers under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF),” the US Department of Education said. Education in a press release. “Several thousand borrowers with older loans will also receive forgiveness through IDR. More than 3.6 million borrowers will also receive at least three years of additional credit for IDR cancellation.
But progressives in Congress and outside Washington say that’s not enough and have called for more widespread student loan forgiveness.
“We need full debt cancellation, and we need it yesterday,” said Dr. Jalil Mustaffa Bishop, co-founder and assistant professor of Equity Research Cooperative & Villanova University.
Republicans on the committee, however, said forgiving student loans would place an unfair burden on taxpayers.
“Let’s be clear about what student loan debt forgiveness means,” said Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. “This is a massive transfer of wealth from taxpayers to a small subset of mostly wealthy individuals.”
One witness urged Congress and the Biden administration not to institute broad loan forgiveness, but instead consider other solutions like college accountability.
“The loan problems do not warrant drastic actions such as a sweeping cancellation that would create bigger problems ranging from helping the wealthy to worsening tuition inflation and labor force distortions. work,” said Dr. Neal McCluskey, director of the Center for Educational Freedom at Cato. Institute. “Congress could also institute skin in the game in which colleges pay a share of their defaults.”
President Biden has said he is considering taking executive action to write off student loan debt globally, but so far no final decision has been made by the administration.
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