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Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., was the latest Democrat to defend President Biden’s student debt handouts, claiming that they are forms of social justice.
Biden announced on Wednesday that he plans to cancel $10,000 in student loans for those earning under $125,000 yearly and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients. This plan would cover approximately $300 billion in student debt while the current federal student debt topped $1.6 trillion.
MSNBC host Joy Reid was one of a number of media pundits who praised the news, highlighting the impact that it will have on Black families.
“Just if you isolate just Black families alone, Black families with loan debt, 30% of them. White families, 20% of them do. Hispanic families with loan debt, 14% have this loan debt. It is actually a big deal, particularly for families of color,” Reid noted on her show “The ReidOut.”
DEMOCRAT PRAISES BIDEN’S STUDENT LOAN HANDOUT, CLAIMS IMPACT ON INFLATION WILL BE ‘SMALL,’ ‘NEGLIGIBLE'
Pressley agreed, considering the news as a “racial justice” and “gender justice” issue.
“Twenty million people will have their debt canceled outright. One in four Black borrowers, their debt will be gone. So this is transformative. They will feel the impact of this and this is sound policy in that is an economic justice issue and a racial justice issue and a gender justice issue in that two-thirds of this debt is bore by women, and it is good politics. Good policy and good politics,” Pressley said.
She also pushed back against criticism that the handouts would primarily benefit upper class Americans at the expense of lower-class taxpayers.
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“I have to just acknowledge where we started. When the issue of student debt cancellation was introduced into the national discourse, people really sought to marginalize the issue. Many thought that student debt cancellation was something that would be regressive in impact. There was a harmful and false narrative that it would only benefit white graduate students who went to prestigious or influential institutions. And, of course, that is not true,” Pressley said.
Pressley repeatedly supported the idea of student debt forgiveness in the past and frequently called on Biden to cancel all debt while in office. In December, she went as far as to call student debt “policy violence” as well as a “racial, gender, and economic crisis.”
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Pressley continued, “This is about educators who have sleepless nights because they can’t meet the monthly minimums and pay for childcare who took on this debt because they want to educate our babies. This is about 76-year-olds in my district on fixed incomes still paying student loans who fear that they’re going to die paying on these loans. At this point, they owe more than they took out. Eighty-five percent of black students have no choice but to take out these loans, five times more likely to default. I was one of those students. That is not abstract for me.”
Fox News' Timothy H.J. Nerozzi contributed to this report.
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