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AOC student debt speech

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) speaks about her own college debt experience during a December 2, 2021 House floor speech on canceling student loans. (Photo: YouTube screen grab)

'We Can Do It Again': Citing Covid-19 Test Reversal, AOC Calls On Biden to #CancelStudentDebt

"We can change decisions and conditions," said the congresswoman from New York. "We just did with the idea of sending out millions of free at-home Covid tests—initially laughed at, yet now it's happening."

Brett Wilkins

Amid reports that his administration is considering extending the federal college loan payment moratorium scheduled to expire on February 1, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday added her voice to the growing chorus of calls by progressives for President Joe Biden to cancel student debt.

Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) cited the Biden administration's about-face decision to distribute millions of free at-home Covid-19 testing kits, tweeting that the idea was "initially laughed at, yet now it's happening."

Politico's Michael Stratford reported Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Education "says it may postpone" its plan to restart monthly federal student loan repayments in February.

As Common Dreams reported, progressive lawmakers including Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Cori Bush (D-Mo.) joined grassroots activists such as the Debt Collective in encouraging the administration to extend the moratorium.

Ocasio-Cortez—one of dozens of congressional lawmakers still paying off their college loans—is a longtime advocate of student debt cancellation. Speaking on the House floor earlier this month, she said U.S. student indebtedness is "getting ridiculous" and that she did not attend graduate school because "getting another degree would drown me in debt I would never be able to surpass."

"Growing up I was told since I was a child, 'Your destiny is to go to college. That's what's gonna lift our family up and out. That is our future,'" she said.

"We still do that today," Ocasio-Cortez added. "It's teenagers signing up for what is often hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt, and we just do that. And our government allows that. We give 17-year-olds the ability to sign on for hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt, and we think that's responsible policy."


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