Sanders urges Biden to cancel all student loans after Biden announces freeze

By Sharon Zhang, Truthout

After the Biden administration announced on Wednesday that it is extending the federal student loan payment pause, progressive lawmakers are encouraging the president to take further action by cancelling student debt.

Debt advocates and lawmakers have been pressuring Joe Biden to follow through with his campaign promise to cancel up to $10,000 of student debt per borrower, some of them urging him to forgive student loans altogether. These calls were amplified after the administration announced that it would be extending the payment freeze for another 90 days, until May 1 – a decision that debt cancellation advocates say was largely influenced by public pressure.

Bernie Sanders in front of an image of a graduating student with a ball and chain around their ankle
Photo by Gage Skidmore

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) praised the extension on Wednesday. “I applaud President Biden for once again pausing federal student loan payments for 45 million Americans,” he said. “Now let’s cancel it. All of it.”

The Vermont senator has long advocated for the cancellation of all federal student debt and included the measure in his platform during his 2020 presidential run. Sanders’s stance is more radical than that of other debt cancellation advocates like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York), who have urged Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in debt.

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