Ellison, 16 AGs call on Biden to cancel $50K in student loan debt

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is among a group of state attorneys general calling for President Joe Biden to cancel up to $50,000 of student loan debt for all federal student loan borrowers.

In addition to Ellison, the attorneys general of Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin all signed the letter addressed to the leaders of Congress.

The letter expressed their support for Senate Resolution 46 and House Resolution 100, which call for Biden to use executive authority under the Higher Education Act to cancel the debt.

"Our Offices routinely receive complaints from borrowers who are unable to navigate the abstruse and opaque repayment or forgiveness plans available under current law," read the letter. "When borrowers are unable to manage their Federal student loan repayment, the consequences can be catastrophic."

At a Town Hall event on CNN on Tuesday, Biden said he supported writing off a $10,000 debt, but not $50,000 because he doesn't believe he has the authority to do so. On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki clarified that Biden does not support $50,000 in student loan relief "without limitation."

In the letter, the attorneys general argued the COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened the financial situation for many borrowers.

"Broad cancellation of Federal student loan debt will provide immediate relief to millions who are struggling during this pandemic and recession, and give a much-needed boost to families and our economy," read the letter.