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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On President Biden Cancelling Student Loan Debt For Millions Of Americans

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor following President Biden’s historic cancellation of student loan debt, which will overwhelmingly benefit those earning less than $75,000 a year.  Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

For the past two years, I’ve repeatedly stated that with the simple flick of a pen, President Biden could lower costs for millions of Americans by canceling their student debt. Everywhere I go, student debt is always front of mind for many of my fellow New Yorkers, as it is for millions across the country. There are many who don’t have student debt. But for those who do, it’s deep. This is not just one of ten issues. This is the issue that really, really bothers them and motivates them. To have to wake up in the middle of the night saying, how am I going to make that $400 payment next month, when my salary doesn’t stretch that far? What am I going to cut out of my life?

Well, with that long-awaited flick of the pen, President Biden gave tens of millions of Americans a new lease on life by canceling significant amounts of student debt.

To President Biden I say: thank you, thank you, for listening to our calls. Thank you for taking action.

The President’s decision will make it easier for millions of Americans to finally pursue their own American dream, whether that means making that down payment on a house, or buying that new car, opening a business, or saving for retirement. It will help close the racial wealth gap that still holds far too many Americans back. And most of all, it is going to make our economy stronger.

Now, over the past few weeks we have heard a lot of fake outrage from Republicans saying that canceling student debt is nothing more than a giveaway to wealthy Americans. The same Republicans who made tax cuts for the ultra-rich their number one priority are suddenly apoplectic at the thought of helping working and middle-class Americans with student debt relief.

Well here is the truth, I say to my Republican colleagues: among borrowers who are no longer in school, 90% of the debt canceled will go to those earning less than $75,000 a year. It the opposite of the tax cuts the Republicans pushed for, where the vast majority of money went to the top 1% and the top 10%.

Let me repeat that: among borrowers who are no longer in school, nearly 90% of the debt being canceled will go to those earning less than $75,000 a year.

And let’s not forget a majority of student loans are held by people whose families have zero net worth, zero. A majority of student loans to families who have zero net worth. That’s why the greatest help will go to those with the greatest need: Pell Grant Recipients, which for the most part come from families making under $60,000 a year, will have up to $20,000 of their debt canceled.

So rather than helping the privileged few, canceling student debt is going to lift up Americans from all walks of life: students of color, poor Americans, children of immigrants, working and middle-class families struggling to either get to the middle class or stay there.

So again, I thank President Biden for taking action. And I also want to thank champions like Senator Warren, whose been such a great partner in this activity, Senator Warnock, Representative Pressley who joined with me in calling for the President to take this step. They have all been great partners in the effort and I am glad our efforts finally began to pay off.