EDITOR’S NOTE: This Daily Poster report is being co-published with Newsweek.
This report was written by Julia Rock, Walker Bragman, and David Sirota.
President Joe Biden may not be a particularly ideological politician, but one of the few things he seems to absolutely believe in is debt. In particular, student debt.
On the campaign trail he appeared to suggest otherwise, repeatedly promising that he would support some incremental action to forgive student debt, tweeting that the federal government should forgive “a minimum” of $10,000 of college loans.
Last week, however, Biden defied Democratic leaders on the issue, declaring “I will not make that happen” when asked whether he supported Senators Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren’s proposal to go farther and cancel up to $50,000 of federal student debt — and his administration refused to commit to using existing executive authority to reduce that debt.
The declaration echoes a point of contrast between Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, when the Vermont independent pushed for full student debt cancellation. Biden’s statement also rekindles a bitter conflict between him and Warren, who as a Harvard Law professor excoriated him in harsh terms for consistently opposing debt relief. She is now calling on Americans to press Biden to use his existing executive authority to enact more debt relief, but the White House is balking.
The entire episode is a reminder that Biden’s current position is consistent with his 40-year history of leaving Americans loaded down with bills as a consequence of seeking a higher education.
This newsletter relies on readers pitching in to support it. If you like what you just read and want to help expand this kind of journalism, consider becoming a paid subscriber by clicking this link.