By Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, The Washington Post, November 18, 2020
Political pressure is mounting for president-elect Joe Biden to use executive authority to cancel federal student debt as a form of economic stimulus, a proposal that is exposing sharp divisions among economists, consumer activists and policy wonks.
On Wednesday, 238 nonprofit and community organizations — including the NAACP and American Federation of Teachers — urged Biden to take action on loan forgiveness on his first day in office. In a letter to Biden and vice president-elect Kamala D. Harris, the groups argue that using administrative debt cancellation will advance his campaign priorities of economic recovery, pandemic relief and racial equity.
“Before COVID-19 … student debt was already a drag on the national economy, weighing heaviest on Black and Latinx communities, as well as women,” the groups wrote. “That weight is likely to be exponentially magnified given the disproportionate toll that COVID-19 is taking on both the health and economic security of people of color and women. To minimize the harm to the next generation and help narrow the racial and gender wealth gaps, bold and immediate action is needed.”