AOC Initiates Resistance to Upcoming Biden Student Loan Forgiveness Plan – As President Joe Biden reportedly prepares to announce a student loan forgiveness plan, progressive New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or as the world knows her, AOC, is already criticizing his unconfirmed proposal.
Writing on Instagram, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez insisted that student loan forgiveness shouldn’t be based on an “arbitrary number” and that the “halfway approach” to forgiveness would be “kind of a waste.”
“People get addicted to splitting things down the middle but there are policies where a halfway approach is kind of a waste as it’s not much better than nothing, and resources are better spent elsewhere. We push so that people can actually experience the benefits of a policy,” AOC said on Instagram.
The progressive legislator made the comment in response to a question about what she believes are the most common conservative misperceptions surrounding the policy proposal.
“We can’t just pick an arbitrary number despite so many people wanting to do so,” she said. “There’s an actual level where wealth inequality starts to get reduced.”
What Is An “Arbitrary Number”?
In May, three people familiar with President Joe Biden’s discussions on student loan forgiveness revealed that the White House is considering a $10,000 cut-off for loan forgiveness.
Under the rumored plan, President Joe Biden would cancel $10,000 in federal student loan debt for undergraduates. This appears to be what AOC means when she says “arbitrary number.”
President Joe Biden promised to deliver $10,000 in student loan forgiveness throughout his campaign, but the more progressive members of his party have spent years advocating for complete and total forgiveness of all federal loans.
It’s not just AOC that opposes his plan.
In May, a coalition of more than 500 organizations wrote to the president calling on him to cancel more than $10,000 per borrower.
“There is growing energy and strong bipartisan public support for immediate broad-based debt cancellation,” the coalition wrote. “Such executive action is one of the few available tools that could immediately provide a boost to upwards of 44 million borrowers and the economy.”
The coalition was led by Americans for Financial Reform, the Center for Responsible Lending, the Student Borrower Protection Center, and the National Consumer Law Center. It was first sent in November of 2020, and reissued in January. It was sent to the president once again in May this year.
Whether the president will go beyond $10,000, however, is unclear. The policy is not only unpopular with congressional Republicans, but even his own party can’t agree on the topic – making it hard to pass legislation in the House and the Senate, and forcing the president to sign a hugely divisive executive order.
And in the middle of an economic crisis, that might not be a risk the president is willing to take.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.