Omar backs petition asking Biden to cancel student debt on day one

"Student debt cancellation will greatly contribute to an equitable economic recovery from COVID-19, jumpstart our economy, and help close the racial wealth gap."

Image credit: Twitter via @IlhanMN

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar announced her support for a petition asking President-elect Joe Biden to “cancel” $1.7 trillion of student debt.

The petition asking Biden to relieve Americans of their student debt has more than 10,000 signatures and a goal of 12,800. Supported by Omar, her campaign and many other political organizations, the petition pushes an agenda that’s gaining traction among Democratic politicians.

“Today, the $1.7 trillion student debt crisis exacerbates economic inequality, prevents wealth building, and stifles the dreams of millions of Americans. Student debt cancellation will greatly contribute to an equitable economic recovery from COVID-19, jumpstart our economy, and help close the racial wealth gap,” claims the petition.

The petition is sponsored by Omar’s campaign committee as well as the campaigns of Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Representative-elect Cori Bush and several progressive organizations.

“It is not a pipe dream at all,” Ocasio-Cortez recently said. “And most importantly, is that it can be done by executive order, which means that Biden would not need Mitch McConnell or the Republican Senate to forgive people’s student loans. The key is that we need to push him.”

The petition backed by Omar is one of three being promoted by those who want student debt canceled. Others have been launched by the Young Democratic Socialists of America and the Student Debt Crisis nonprofit. The petition from the latter organization has 133,266 signatures, and claims that removing student debt would “reduce the wealth gap.”

“Student debt was a crisis before the coronavirus. And it’s an even deeper crisis now,”  Omar said earlier this year. “We must not force Americans to choose between putting food on the table and paying off exorbitant student loans. Minnesotans and people across the country need relief and they need it now.”