President Joe Biden said Tuesday "I will not make that happen" when asked during a CNN Town Hall how he would increase his proposal for student loan debt forgiveness from $10,000 to $50,000. The answer received an unfavorable response from Democrats pushing for the higher amount.
Biden reiterated his call for tuition-free community college and for free tuition at state universities for students whose families make less than $125,000. He said he's also willing to eliminate interest on student loan debt.
Sixteen U.S. Senators and 46 House members have signed onto a resolution calling on Biden to cancel $50,000 in student loan debt using existing authority under the Higher Education Act. Biden stated he does not think he has the authority to do it via executive order. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., disagreed with that assessment Wednesday.
"Presidents Obama and Trump used their executive authority to cancel student loan debt. The Biden administration has said it is reviewing options for cancelling up to $50,000 in student debt by executive action, and we are confident they will agree with the standards Obama and Trump used as well as leading legal experts who have concluded that the administration has broad authority to immediately deliver much-needed relief to millions of Americans," they said in a joint statement.
Biden also stated that "it depends on whether or not you go to a private university of a public university," something that drew rebuke from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.
"Who cares what school someone went to? Entire generations of working class kids were encouraged to go into more debt under the guise of elitism. This is wrong," she tweeted.
Biden also indicated a large forgiveness of student loan debt could hurt funding for early childhood education programs. Ocasio-Cortez countered, saying, "We can have both."