Elizabeth Warren Vows to Bypass Congress to Cancel Student Loan Debt
2020 hopeful promise to 'compromise and modify' federal student loans
White House hopeful Elizabeth Warren promised to cancel student loan debt by bypassing Congress if she wins the presidency in 2020.
The 2020 candidate said in a plan released Tuesday that she would direct her secretary of education to "compromise and modify" federal student loans, canceling up to $50,000 in debt for 95% of student loan borrowers.
"We can’t afford to wait for Congress to act," Warren said.
The Massachusetts senator said that the Education Department has the authority to cancel student debt through the Higher Education Act of 1965.
But Warren's taxpayer-funded plan was interpreted as a slap in the face to those who have already struggled to pay off their student loans without government assistance.
Last year, she said that the "entire cost" of the plans would be covered by her proposed 2 percent annual tax on families with $50 million or more - the "ultra-millionaire tax."
Warren said at the time:
"We got into this crisis because state governments and the federal government decided that instead of treating higher education like our public school system.
Free and accessible to all Americans—they’d rather cut taxes for billionaires and giant corporations and offload the cost of higher education onto students and their families.
The student debt crisis is the direct result of this failed experiment," Warren wrote in a post on Medium.
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"It’s time to end that experiment, to clean up the mess it’s caused, and to do better—better for people who want to go (or go back) to college, better for current students, better for graduates, better for their families, and better for our entire economy," she wrote.
In October last year, Warren also pledged to crack down on school choice if she is elected.
But her promises soon came under question after public records revealed she sent her own son to an elite private school.
The 2020 hopeful's education plan would ban for-profit charter schools, a proposal initially backed by Bernie Sanders, and remove government incentives for opening new non-profit charter schools, despite her praising charter schools in the past.