President Joe Biden said Thursday he's considering canceling "some" outstanding federal student loan debt, but ruled out a proposal by some congressional Democrats to cancel $50,000 in debt for each borrower.
"I am not considering $50,000 in debt reduction, but I'm in the process of taking a hard look at whether there will be debt forgiveness, and I'll have an answer in the next couple weeks," Biden said at a White House press conference.
Biden's comment comes a day after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) reportedly said the president is "getting closer" to a $50,000 blanket forgiveness for all borrowers.
Schumer has been calling on Biden to use his executive power to erase up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt for all borrowers and to make sure that the cancelled debt won't be treated as taxable income. Other Democrats, notably Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), have also advocated for $50,000 in debt relief.
Not all Democrats agree with Schumer's plea. In July 2021, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) suggested many taxpayers don't want their money spent to pay off someone else's debt. She also argued that Biden doesn't have the authority to do it.
"People think that the President of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness; he does not," Pelosi said at the time. "He can postpone, he can delay, but he does not have that power. That has to be an act of Congress."
If it doesn't come with an income cap, a $10,000 forgiveness plan would benefit mainly those under the age of 40 who have graduate degrees and live in high-income households of majority-white neighborhoods, according to the analysis.