Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Protesters demand Biden cancel student debt

The Too Much Talent Band and local activists hold a protest outside the White House urging President Joe Biden to cancel student debt on March 15, 2022 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images for We The 45 Million)

Biden Tells Hispanic Caucus He's Exploring Options to Cancel Student Debt

"This is a sign that we are winning," said the Student Debt Crisis Center.

Jessica Corbett

Advocates and Democrats who support sweeping student debt cancellation welcomed reporting Tuesday that President Joe Biden is exploring options for loan forgiveness after extending a pandemic-related pause on payments earlier this month.

"This is what happens when you fight."

Multiple outlets, including CBS News and The Washington Post, reported that during a Monday meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Biden repeatedly signaled he was considering canceling at least some federal student debt.

"The president is changing his message on student debt cancellation. This is a sign that we are winning," said the Student Debt Crisis Center (SDCC).

Referencing one of the reports, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) tweeted Tuesday that "today would be a great day for President Biden to #CancelStudentDebt."

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, concurred, tweeting: "This is great news. Let's get it done!"

Debt cancellation supporters doubled down on their demands in early April when Biden extended the moratorium on student loan repayments through the end of August. Polling has consistently shown voters, particularly younger Americans, support canceling at least some educational debt.

One unnamed lawmaker who attended the Monday meeting told CBS that "they're looking at different options on what they can do. On forgiving it entirely. That was our request."

According to the Post:

Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.) initially raised the issue with Biden during the meeting. In an interview, Cárdenas said he first asked the president to extend the moratorium past its current August 31 expiration date, and Biden responded with a smile, "Well, Tony, I've extended it every time."

Cárdenas said he then urged the president to issue an executive order to relieve at least $10,000 in student loan debts per person. In making his case, Cárdenas said he told Biden that Latinos in the United States who are carrying student debt still have more than 80 percent of their bill due after more than a dozen years.

Biden was "incredibly positive" about the idea, Cárdenas said.

The newspaper added that "another lawmaker in attendance, Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.), said Biden's response to lawmakers' requests to cancel at least some student debt was essentially that he would like to do it sooner rather than later."

Uncertainty over what Biden—who only campaigned on canceling at least $10,000 for federal borrowers—may do to address the student debt crisis comes as Democrats face a looming battle for control of Congress in this year's midterm elections.

SDCC executive director Cody Hounanian told CBS that "as far as the president going out and talking about student loan cancellation with different groups, I do think that's a very good sign."

"I think the president is starting to recognize that student debt cancellation is very popular," Hounanian added. "It's very popular with specific groups of voters that the president needs to win for this upcoming election, and the fact that he's using debt cancellation as a tool from which to talk to these communities, to me that's a little bit of a change."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Bodycam Footage Shows Ohio Police Shooting Jayland Walker 60+ Times

"The Department of Justice needs to step in to investigate immediately," said former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner.

Common Dreams staff ·


'Impeach Justice Clarence Thomas' Petition Nears 1 Million Signatures

"He has shown he cannot be an impartial justice and is more concerned with covering up his wife's coup attempts than the health of the Supreme Court," reads the petition.

Jake Johnson ·


'Tipping Point of No Return' Feared as Amazon Rainforest Fires Surge

"Up to now, the Biden administration has only legitimized the Brazilian government's anti-Indigenous and anti-environmental agenda," said Greenpeace USA.

Jake Johnson ·


Biden Urged to Embrace Windfall Tax as Exxon Says Profits Doubled in Second Quarter

"It's time for the president to demand that Congress pass a windfall profits tax on Big Oil and use the revenue to provide rebates to consumers NOW!" wrote Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Jake Johnson ·


Texas Supreme Court Allows Century-Old Abortion Ban to Take Effect

"Extremist politicians are on a crusade to force Texans into pregnancy and childbirth against their will, no matter how devastating the consequences."

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo