President-elect Joe Biden has questioned a popular democratic idea involving executive action which cancel up to $ 50,000 in student debt held by the federal government for approximately 43 million US borrowers.

“I’m going to be in trouble for saying that,” Biden Told a meeting of news columnists on Wednesday, raising the Democratic argument that “the president might have the executive power to write off up to $ 50,000 in student debt. Well, I think that’s pretty moot. I don’t ‘m not sure. I would be unlikely to do that. “

Earlier this week, presenting his candidate for the post of secretary of education, Miguel Cardona, Biden has declared his support for the forgiveness of $ 10,000 in student debt across the board – through legislation passed by Congress.

“It’s a balancing act, but I’m optimistic that there are a lot of things we can do that I would love to do,” Biden said Wednesday. “I have spent most of my career opposing the Imperial Presidency. We have three equal branches of government. I am convinced that there are a number of areas which are of such importance that they cross partisan lines.

President-elect Joe Biden announces that Miguel Cardona is his candidate for Secretary of Education at the Queen Theater on December 23, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Joshua Roberts / Getty Images)

“Cancel existing student loan debt under a separate legal authority”

consumer advocates and several democrats – including Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in addition to Representatives Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) – have repeatedly called on Biden to take executive action on student debt cancellation.

“President Biden can write off this debt – can write off $ 50,000 in [student] debt – the first day he becomes president ”, Schumer noted. “You don’t need Congress. All you need is a stroke of a pencil. “

A new member of the new Biden administration National Economic Council, longtime assistant to Warren Bharat Ramamurti, also argued previously in support of the president’s power to cancel debt.

The basic argument, as detailed by the Legal Services Center at Harvard Law School to Senator Warren, is that the Secretary of Education has the power “to cancel existing student loan debt under a separate statutory authority — the power to amend existing loans found. 20 USC § 1082 (a) (4). “

Other specialists believe that the argument is flawed and would not survive legal challenges.

Sens offices. Schumer and Warren did not respond to inquiries about Biden’s latest comments.

Some observers, responding to Biden’s comments, Noted that President Trump’s executive actions to impose a moratorium on interest and payments on student debt held by the federal government amid the coronavirus pandemic were an indication of how the executive branch can be used to direct legislation .

The cancellation of student debt is a popular idea: new pair of national surveys, provided exclusively to Yahoo Finance, show that more than half of Americans from all political backgrounds support government action to address the student loan crisis, which includes $ 1.55 trillion of student debt held by the federal government in the third quarter of 2020.

Aarthi is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @aarthiswami.

If you would like to share your story on how you struggle or paid your students, email her at [email protected]

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