WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden will ask the Department of Justice to review his legal authority to cancel student loan debt, the White House said on Wednesday, adding the president does not favor $50,000 in student loan relief without limitation.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters that Biden believes relief above $10,000 should be targeted based on the borrower’s income and the kind of debt in question.
“He doesn’t favor $50,000 in student loan relief without limitation,” Psaki said.
“Once his team is in place at the Justice Department … he will ask them to conduct a legal review of his authority to act by executive action in conjunction with a policy review from his Domestic Policy Council on how executive action debt relief, if any, should be targeted,” she added.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Elizabeth Warren, both Democrats, on Wednesday called on Biden to cancel $50,000 in federal student loan debt, adding the administration has “broad authority” to provide relief.
“An ocean of student loan debt is holding back 43 million borrowers and disproportionately weighing down Black and Brown Americans. Cancelling $50,000 in federal student loan debt will help close the racial wealth gap, benefit the 40% of borrowers who do not have a college degree, and help stimulate the economy,” they said in a statement.
(Reporting by Nandita Bose, Susan Heavey and Daphne Psaledakis; Additional reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Chris Reese and Jonathan Oatis)