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AOC argues that undoing Trump-era policies on the wealthy and corporations can fund the entire plan to forgive all student loan debt.
AOC argues that undoing Trump-era policies on the wealthy and corporations can fund the entire plan to forgive all student loan debt. Photo: Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

AOC pushes for more student loan relief after Biden’s $10k student debt forgiveness plan

Despite the immediate help Biden’s new plan had, AOC says more needs to be done for borrowers with the highest amount of debt.

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President Joe Biden finally did right by his campaign promise of broad student debt forgiveness. Last Wednesday, Aug. 24, the Biden administration announced its newest plan of up to $20,000 in student debt relief ahead of the moratorium deadline on Aug. 31. 

Republicans criticized the move while Democrats pressed that much more can still be done. 

Biden’s plan specifies that $20,000 can be forgiven for Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 for other borrowers under an income cap of $125,000 a year. Biden said along with the announcement that it would be a one-time broad relief plan. Many have pushed against this, saying still only a small group of people will benefit from it. Others have argued that much more can be done. 

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been one of other Democrats to have spoken out in support of even more broader student loan debt reliefs. In an Instagram post on Saturday, Aug. 27, Ocasio-Cortez spoke on what specifically can be done to bring much needed relief to all as well as commenting on the millions who have asked how the debt plan benefits those who have already paid off their loans. 

“I've said it before and I'Il say it again: Not every program has to be for everybody. People with apartments pay for first time homeowner benefits. Young people contribute to Medicare for our seniors. People who take public transit pay for car infrastructure,” she said. 

“Maybe student loan forgiveness doesn’t impact you. That doesn't make it bad. I am sure there are certainly other things that student loan borrowers' taxes pay for that you benefit from. We can do good things and reject the scarcity mindset that says doing something good for someone else comes at the cost of something for ourselves,” she continued. 

The White House has announced that no further debt forgiveness will be coming as a result of this latest plan from the President. Instead, the administration will begin focusing on relief programs, such as the Public Service Loan Forgiveness. 

The President’s decision has left many Republicans angry over Biden’s alleged violation of overstepping his authority. On Friday, Aug. 26, Fox News got a hold of a letter from over 100

Republican lawmakers asking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to take action against Biden for going over his authority. 

Biden’s relief plan is set to wipe out the debt for over 20 million borrowers across the country. But for the other millions with debts ranging higher, it leaves them in the same place, asking for more and broader relief. According to the federal reserve, the value of former President Donald Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, is higher than that of the total country’s student loan debt. That was also pointed out by Ocasio-Cortez in her latest statements on social media about the relief announcement.

She saw the good of the relief, but still said there could be more.

“We can keep pushing. Remember that the Biden administration didn’t want to do this *at all.* It was YOUR pushing, YOUR pressure, YOUR organizing that got them to this point. They have forgiven far, far more debt for business owners in the form of PPP who didn’t need to meet ANY sort of income requirements or means testing for almost $1 TRILLION in forgiveness. (Mind you, forgiving ALL student debt in the US is about 1.7 trillion - you could undo the 2017 tax cuts for the 1% and forgive all student loans plus have money left over to contribute to universal childcare, tuition free college, homelessness, etc.),” AOC wrote on social media 

To get more, she called on the same people whose voices got the first $20,000 in relief announced last week. 

“It is now up to us, and to you, to decide if we are going to stop here, or if we are going to keep pushing. I am very grateful for this watershed moment of a first step - it is encouraging, thrilling, and has already changed SO many people’s lives,” said Ocasio-Cortez. “But I am also thinking about how this still leaves a question mark for those in the highest amounts of debt, who need the most amount of help. So let’s celebrate and keep going.”

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