U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) urged President Joe Biden to pursue student loan debt cancelation. She told the New Yorker that she believes that student debt forgives is crucial if the Democrats are to have “any chance” in the 2022 midterm elections, Newsweek reported.
AOC told the New Yorker that the Biden administration’s “hesitancy” on the issue of the growing student debt crisis has a demoralizing effect on a voting bloc that Democrats across the country rely upon, Newsweek said.
She told the outlet, “I can’t underscore how much the hesitance of the Biden administration to pursue student-loan cancellation has demoralized a very critical voting block that the President, the House, and the Senate need in order to have any chance at preserving our majority.”
The congresswoman suggested that Biden had “a reluctance to use executive power” and that he “has not been using his executive power to the extent that some would say is necessary.”
She said, “One of the single most impactful things President Biden can do is pursue student-loan cancellation. It is entirely within his power.”
“This really isn’t a conversation about providing relief to a small, niche group of people,” AOC continued. "It’s very much a keystone action politically. I think it’s a keystone action economically as well.”
Some of AOC’s congressional colleagues in the U.S. Senate, like Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), have also urged the president to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt through an executive order.
This past December, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), AOC’s colleague in the far-left “Squad,” referred to existing student debt policy as “violence.”
While on the 2020 campaign trail, then-candidate Biden promised to cancel at least five figures of student debt per borrower.
In April of 2020, Biden called for “an immediate cancelation of a minimum of $10,000 per person” in “immediate relief.” In the same address, Biden pledged that his “next step in building on the progressive vision for the country” was “forgiving student debt for low-income and middle class people who have attended public colleges and universities.”
A few months later, he reaffirmed this commitment.
After assuming office, Business Insider reported that Biden said he was “prepared to write off the $10,000 debt but not $50 [thousand], because I don’t think I have the authority to do it.”
In December, the Biden administration announced that the COVID-19 era pause on federal student loan payments would end, and debtors would be expected to once again make monthly payments.
This announcement disappointed many of the President’s progressive allies.
AOC’s concerns about losing the Democratic majority in Congress may be warranted. After all, Republicans are currently positioned to make massive gains in the House of Representatives and have a 73% chance of winning a majority in the Senate in the 2022 midterm elections.