(TheConservativeNews.org) – Student debt is a longstanding point of contention in Washington, DC. Some say it’s an unfair burden to place on young people who may not understand what they’re getting into when they sign up for a college course costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many such commentators feel the federal government has a duty to lighten this burden, potentially through some form of debt cancellation.
Of course, on the other hand, you have those who question why taxpayers should be made to pay for the expensive missteps of America’s young adults. This argument does not break down along party lines, as you might expect; even some Democrats are uncomfortable with the notion of wiping the slate clean for students.
Pelosi Stands Up to the President
On Wednesday, July 28, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told a news conference that President Joe Biden does not have the power to unilaterally cancel federal student debt. Instead, she said, an act of Congress would be necessary to bring about loan forgiveness.
This is inconsistent with statements made by other senior Democrats on this matter. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has previously said Biden has the power to get rid of student debt, and that he should exercise it. As far as Pelosi is concerned, though, debt forgiveness through executive action is “not even a discussion.” She acknowledged the possibility of postponement of deadlines by the president, but insisted full cancellation was impossible.
Regarding her own views on the topic, Pelosi suggested it was unfair that taxpayers who did not go to college, or send their children to one, might have to bail out someone who did. Such taxpayers “may not be happy” to find themselves in this situation, she added.
What Does Biden Want to Do?
Regardless of Speaker Pelosi’s input on the matter, the Biden administration has already busied itself with whittling down the amount of money owed by students and graduates. As of the beginning of this month, Biden’s Education Department had canceled about $1.5 billion worth of student loans.
However, these cancellations were possible because of a borrower defense program that protects students in the event an educational institution misleads them or breaks certain laws. Whether Joe Biden can simply wipe away normal student debts is still up for debate. If he tries, the matter is likely to end up in the courts.
So, what are we to make of all this? Highly unusually, Nancy Pelosi appears to be siding with Conservatives. It may never happen again, but let’s enjoy it for now.
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