Washington, D.C. — Over 235 organizations sent a letter to President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris, calling on them to use executive authority to cancel federal student debt on day one of their administration.
In the letter, 238 nonprofit and community organizations highlight that cancelling student debt would stimulate the economy, help reduce the racial wealth gap, and could have a positive impact on health outcomes. The groups write that “executive action is one of the few available tools that could immediately provide a boost to upwards of 44 million borrowers and the economy,” and that it would be an important first step in advancing the President-Elect’s campaign priorities to ensure racial equity, focus on economic recovery, and deliver COVID-19 relief.
Signers include: American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, The Education Trust, Hispanic Federation, NAACP, National Urban League, UnidosUS, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), National Women’s Law Center, SEIU, UE (United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America), the Coalition on Human Needs, Children’s Defense Fund, the American Psychological Association, Council on Social Work Education, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, Greenpeace, Sunrise Movement, Minority Veterans of America, Veterans Education Success, the United States Student Association, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, and the National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd.
The letter was led by Americans for Financial Reform, the Center for Responsible Lending, Demos, the National Consumer Law Center, and Student Borrower Protection Center.
“President-Elect Biden can— and should— cancel student debt on Day One of his presidency,” said Ashley Harrington, federal advocacy director and senior counsel Ashley Harrington at the Center for Responsible Lending. “Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, student debt exacerbated existing systemic inequities and racial disparities. Just as with the Great Recession, communities of color are disproportionately affected by the current crisis. They also shoulder a disproportionate amount of the $1.6 trillion student debt burden that is draining our economy. Cancellation will help jumpstart spending, create jobs, and add to the GDP. Short-term payment suspension alone is not enough to help struggling borrowers who are unemployed, already in default, or in serious delinquency. Borrowers need real relief, and they need it on Day One.”