Congress? Who needs those elected officials for anything?
Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren is certain she has no use for the House or Senate when it comes to student loans. Relying on pre-existing authority within the Department of Education to cancel, modify, or forgive debt, she’d bypass Congress altogether if elected and instruct the Secretary of Education to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt for about 42 million borrowers.
The move would transfer responsibility for the $600 billion dollars from those who took out the the loans to taxpayers.
Warren, writing on the website Medium, said that she would act without waiting for Congress because the Secretary of Education can “use its discretion to wipe away loans even when they do not meet the eligibility criteria for more specific cancellation programs.”
Her campaign offered a letter from experts at Harvard Law School’s legal services center that concluded her plan “calls for a lawful and permissible exercise of the Secretary’s authority under existing law.”
It’s likely that Warren outlined the plan now because she’s slipping in the polls and needs an attention-getting topic to bring the focus back to her.
She’s often discussed eliminating large chunks of student loans, erasing up to $50,000 for households with less than $100,000 in income, and cancelling partial debt for those who make up to $250,000.