White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that the Biden White House is exploring ways to cancel student debt via executive action.
“The President continues to support the cancelling of student debt to bring relief to students and families,” Psaki tweeted after Thursday’s White House press briefing. “Our team is reviewing whether there are any steps he can take through executive action and he would welcome the opportunity to sign a bill sent to him by Congress.” (RELATED: Schumer Says Biden Is ‘Considering’ Eliminating $50,000 In Student Debt For People Making Less than $125,000 A Year)
The President continues to support the cancelling of student debt to bring relief to students and families. Our team is reviewing whether there are any steps he can take through executive action and he would welcome the opportunity to sign a bill sent to him by Congress.
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) February 4, 2021
Biden has maintained for months that he would sign a bill addressing the student debt into law if passed by Congress, but leaked audio that surfaced during the transition showed him telling progressive leaders after the 2020 election that he will not use executive action the way his “progressive friends” — including Democratic Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren and Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — have asked.
“So there’s some things that I’m going to be able to do by executive order,” Biden can be heard saying on the recording. “But what I’m not going to do is … violate the Constitution.”
“Executive authority that my progressive friends talk about is way beyond the bound,” the president continued. “I’m not going to exercise executive authority where it’s a question.”
Psaki’s tweet came on the heels of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Warren and Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s Thursday call for Biden to cancel large portions of student debt by executive order as a means of jumpstarting the economy.
Pressley stated that “the student debt crisis has always been a racial and economic justice issue” and Warren added that student debt cancellation would “help close the racial wealth gap.”