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Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison calls on President Biden to cancel student loan debt

4 May 2022

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and several other state attorneys general are calling on President Joe Biden to cancel all federal student loan debt owed by U.S. borrowers.

Ellison and attorneys general from New York, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, Washington and Puerto Rico sent a joint letter to Biden on Monday urging him to erase all federal student loan debt via an executive order.

“Such action would benefit millions of borrowers and be one of the most impactful racial and economic justice initiatives in recent memory,” the attorneys general wrote. “Cancelation of federal student loan debts will reduce stress and mental fatigue, free families to invest in new homes and new lives, and provide countless opportunities.”

Their request comes just a week after Biden announced he is “taking a hard look” at canceling some federal student loan debt. When he was campaigning for president, Biden said he supported canceling $10,000 in student debt per borrower. As president, he has yet to do so, instead opting to repeatedly extend the pause on federal student loan payments.

Democratic activists have been pressuring Biden to cancel more than $10,000 in student loan debt per borrower. Republicans have opposed the idea of student loan debt cancellation, with some criticizing it as a political giveaway during an election year.

Ellison made a similar ask of Congress last year, requesting that it cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt for every U.S. borrower. As attorney general, Ellison has won settlements for students defrauded by for-profit colleges and helped secure debt cancellation for some Minnesotans who were victims of deceptive lending practices.

The more than $1.7 trillion that U.S. student borrowers owe the federal government “contributes to making our economy inequitable and unfair,” Ellison said in a statement Wednesday, reiterating his support for student debt cancellation.

“My job is to help everyone afford their lives, and canceling crushing federal student debt will help the economy as a whole,” Ellison said.

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