President Joe Biden is "more open … than ever before" to having the federal government take on massive student debt, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) announced Wednesday.
Schumer told the Student Debt Crisis Center he is "making progress" on persuading Biden to "wipe out federal student loans by signing an executive order," Business Insider reported. He called for Biden to cancel at least $50,000 in debt per borrower, an amount also promoted by progressives in Congress.
"We want our young people to realize that they can have a good future," Schumer said. "One of the best ways to do it is by canceling student debt, by getting rid of the $50,000, even going higher after that."
Canceling just $50,000 in debt per person will cost the federal government $950 billion. Canceling all student loans will put the government $1.6 trillion in debt, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. The federal government's entire budget last year was $6.82 trillion.
Experts have said student-loan cancellation would benefit the wealthiest students "while leaving behind, or perhaps even draining from, the neediest," the Washington Free Beacon reported. The top 40 percent of wage earners carry more than half of all student-loan debt.
Biden on the campaign trail promised he would cancel $10,000 in federal student loans but has not done so. His press secretary, future MSNBC host Jen Psaki, has made contradictory statements on student-loan cancellation.
Psaki has said Biden would be "happy to sign" a bill on debt cancellation, an idea Schumer has shot down. She said on April 6 the president "has not ruled out" canceling debt via executive order but told Fox News on April 10 she "suspect[s]" Biden will "at some time" make borrowers pay.