Rep. Omar urges Biden to cancel $50,000 of student debt per person

The resolution outlines a path for Biden to use “excessive authority” to remove student loan debt.

Cropped version of Rep. Omar's official portrait

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar has introduced a “bold resolution” asking President-elect Joe Biden to federally remove $50,000 of student loan debt per person.

Rep. Omar introduced the resolution alongside Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and Alma Adams. The resolution outlines a path for Biden to use “excessive authority” to remove student loan debt while simultaneously ensuring there are no tax liabilities for federal student loan borrowers.

“Over 90 percent of student debt is held by the federal government, which President-elect Joe Biden can cancel with the stroke of a pen,” Omar stated in a release. “Young people have been devastated by this economic crisis, with more than half living with their parents. Student debt cancellation would be a massive economic stimulus at a time when people desperately need it.”

The resolution is the companion to a Senate resolution introduced by Senators Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren earlier this year.

The resolution specifically:

  • Recognizes the Secretary of Education’s “broad administrative authority” to cancel federal student loan debt.

  • Urges Biden to executively cancel $50,000 in Federal student loan debt per borrower and ensure those borrowers don’t receive tax bills.

  • Calls on Biden to ensure the debt cancellation “helps to close racial wealth gaps.”

  • Urges Biden to extend current payment relief on all Federal student loan payments and interest until the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Omar, who recently promoted a petition asking Biden to remove student loan debt on his first day in office, believes that student loan debt is also a racial issue.

“It’s also a racial equity issue. Students of color are more likely to take out federal student loans, and face higher rates of default. That’s why I introduced the Student Debt Cancellation Act last year, and have called on leaders to make student debt relief a centerpiece of a coronavirus response package,” Omar said in a release.

“It’s why a majority of the country supports student debt relief. And it’s why leaders from both Houses of Congress for substantial relief. Student debt cancellation isn’t just an economic priority, it is a moral necessity.”