SEVERE WX : Red Flag Warning View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Sens. Wyden, Merkley call on President Biden to forgive $50K in student loan debt

Oregon's two U.S. Senators joined some of their Democratic colleagues in calling for President Joe Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in American student loan debt.

Posted: Feb 4, 2021 2:33 PM
Updated: Feb 4, 2021 2:36 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Oregon's two U.S. Senators on Thursday joined many of their Democratic colleagues in calling for President Joe Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in American student loan debt.

Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined other Democrats in reintroducing a resolution calling on the President to use his executive authority under the Higher Education Act and cancel loan debt — also ensuring there is no tax liability for Federal student loan borrowers resulting from administrative debt cancellation.

“The COVID-19 pandemic took a wrecking ball to our economy, making the burden of student debt even more crushing for the millions who bear it,” Wyden said. “While President Biden has ensured payments on federal student debt are paused until the fall, he has the authority to step in and automatically forgive $50,000 in student debt for folks in Oregon and nationwide who are struggling to make ends meet. This move would not only help bolster the economy by virtually putting money back in people’s pockets, it would make a tangible difference in the lives of millions by alleviating a substantial threat to their financial security.”

The Senators cited data that more than 43 million people in the U.S. currently carry roughly $1.6 trillion in student loan debt. They argue that forgiveness of some of this debt would provide "immediate relief" to millions of Americans during the pandemic, and help to narrow the racial wealth gap.

“An affordable, high-quality education should be within reach for every American who wants one,” said Merkley. “It’s ridiculous that so many students are forced to take on back-breaking amounts of debt to go to school — especially as the coronavirus continues to upend our economy. It’s time to cancel student loan debts so we can free up Americans burdened by student debt to chase their dreams, contribute to their communities, and help us pave the way to economic recovery.”

The ability to relieve student loan debt was granted to the Secretary of Education by Congress in 1965, the lawmakers said, though past use of this power has been much more narrow in scope. That power is currently being used to freeze student loan repayment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The resolution introduced on Thursday calls on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in debt through the Department of Education, prevent any consequent tax liability, and continue the pause on loan repayments and interest through the remainder of the pandemic.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 206851

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40371614
Washington26781248
Marion23425323
Clackamas18932235
Lane13908164
Jackson11535146
Deschutes1001882
Umatilla859387
Linn561181
Yamhill478279
Klamath477678
Polk399356
Douglas388483
Malheur361463
Josephine360672
Benton326522
Jefferson237039
Coos216637
Columbia192129
Union149924
Wasco144430
Lincoln143021
Crook129223
Hood River121633
Morrow115416
Clatsop10589
Baker101115
Curry71011
Tillamook6604
Grant5507
Lake4678
Harney4339
Wallowa1945
Gilliam801
Sherman671
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3809710

Reported Deaths: 63356
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles124774424456
Riverside3016684627
San Bernardino2992894845
San Diego2818103771
Orange2730575113
Santa Clara1201632188
Kern1107991404
Sacramento1078211736
Fresno1029471724
Alameda896591277
Ventura816611031
San Joaquin747271440
Contra Costa70730813
Stanislaus634971070
Tulare49776849
Monterey43836432
San Mateo42681581
San Francisco37269556
Santa Barbara34613455
Solano33762266
Merced32313478
Sonoma30884317
Imperial28855741
Placer23589299
Kings23195247
San Luis Obispo21421261
Madera16638245
Santa Cruz16246208
Marin14206230
Yolo14160212
Butte12668194
Shasta12630233
El Dorado10396116
Napa1002680
Sutter9663113
Yuba648951
San Benito610963
Lassen578424
Tehama573463
Nevada491975
Humboldt449948
Mendocino434050
Tuolumne421271
Amador374047
Lake356345
Glenn243427
Siskiyou239637
Colusa228418
Calaveras220756
Del Norte14588
Inyo143438
Mono12954
Plumas7366
Modoc5585
Mariposa4657
Trinity4225
Sierra1160
Alpine890
Unassigned280
Medford
Clear
° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: °
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 53°
Crater Lake
Clear
° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: °
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
° wxIcon
Hi: 97° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: °
Klamath Falls
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 64°
Isolated Wednesday thunderstorms, weekend heat wave
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events