April 27, 2022

ICYMI: Cárdenas Asks President Biden to Extend the Student Loan Moratorium and Cancel $10,000 in Student Loan Debt for All Borrowers

In a closed door meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressman Cárdenas asked the President to address student loan debt

WASHINGTON, DC – This week, Congressman Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) along with Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) met with President Joe Biden and senior White House officials to discuss topics of critical importance to the Latino community and the CHC. Congressman Cárdenas asked President Biden to extend the student loan moratorium until the end of the year and cancel at least $10,000 in student loan debt for all borrowers.


Read more below: 

The Washington Post: Biden signals he’s open to canceling student loans

[Seung Min Kim and Marianna Sotomayor, 4/26/22]

During a lengthy meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Monday, Biden signaled multiple times that he was prepared not only to extend the current moratorium but to potentially take executive actions canceling some of the debt altogether, according to two House members in attendance and two aides briefed on the meeting’s contents.

Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.) initially raised the issue with Biden during the meeting. In an interview, Cárdenas said he first asked the president to extend the moratorium past its current Aug. 31 expiration date, and Biden responded with a smile, “Well, Tony, I’ve extended it every time.” 

Cárdenas said he then urged the president to issue an executive order to relieve at least $10,000 in student loan debts per person. In making his case, Cárdenas said he told Biden that Latinos in the United States who are carrying student debt still have more than 80 percent of their bill due after more than a dozen years.

Biden was “incredibly positive” about the idea, Cárdenas said.

AP News: Dem lawmaker: Biden suggests he’ll ease student loan burden

[Alan Fram, 4/27/22]

Biden’s remarks came during a wide-ranging Monday meeting at the White House with seven members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, according to Rep. Tony Cardenas, D-Calif., who was among them. He said in an interview Wednesday that he asked Biden to extend the moratorium on debt payments through this year, instead of letting it expire Aug. 31.

“He immediately smiled and said, “I’ve extended in the past, and you’re going to like what I do next,’” Cardenas said. “So I said, ‘Okay, wonderful. Next question.’”

Cardenas said he then asked about forgiving at least $10,000 in debt for each student, which he said the caucus believes Biden can do using executive powers. That would preclude the need for legislation from Congress, where there is Republican opposition.

“He said, ‘Yes, I’m exploring doing something on that front,’” said Cardenas. “And he also smiled and said, ‘You’re going to like what I do on that as well.’”

The New York Times: The Biden Student Debt Question: Will He or Won’t He?

[Stacy Cowley and Zolan Kanno-Youngs, 4/27/22]

Perhaps the most concrete signal came this week: Representatives Tony Cárdenas and Nanette Diaz Barragán, two California Democrats, said Mr. Biden had discussed loan relief during a meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Monday.

The lawmakers said Mr. Biden had indicated that he was looking to provide some form of debt relief and was exploring his legal options.

“He’s serious about it, and he’s looking to do something,” Mr. Cárdenas said. “He’s looking to do something that we would very much like, and he’s hoping to do it soon.”

MSNBC: Cárdenas ask Biden to Cancel Student Debt [VIDEO]

CBS News: Biden tells Congressional Hispanic Caucus he's looking at forgiving some federal student loan debt

[Ed O'Keefe, Sarah Ewall-Wice, 4/26/22]

The president shared his plans during a 90-minute White House meeting Monday with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, participants in the exchange tell CBS News. The move could affect more than 43 million borrowers who hold more than $1.6 trillion in federal student loan debt, the second-largest debt held by Americans, behind mortgages.

Rep. Tony Cardenas, Democrat of California, who attended the meeting, said the president is open to forgiving debt for college students regardless of whether they attended a public or private institution. 

"The president never mentioned an amount nor did the president say that he was going to wipe out all student debt," Cardenas said. "He did a dialogue with us about the differential between young people who went to public schools or private schools and we CHC members said he should focus on both. And he said, 'Okay, good to know.'"

Cardenas said he reiterated to Mr. Biden that the Hispanic Caucus supports executive action that would forgive at least $10,000 in college debt if Congress can't pass legislation doing so.

NBC News: Biden considers forgiving some student debt as GOP pushes new bill to stop him

[By Sahil Kapur, Julie Tsirkin and Haley Talbot, 4/27/22]

President Joe Biden expressed openness to forgiving some student loan debt in a private meeting with some House Democrats, prompting Senate Republicans to introduce legislation to stop him from doing so by executive action.

In a meeting Monday with Congressional Hispanic Caucus members, Biden was asked by Rep. Tony Cárdenas, D-Calif., to extend the moratorium on federal loan payments and cancel $10,000 per borrower in student debt, two sources familiar with the meeting told NBC News, adding that he was receptive to both requests.