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Pelosi: Biden Doesn’t Have Authority to Cancel Debt

July 29, 2021

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, said Wednesday during a press briefing that President Biden doesn't have the authority to broadly cancel student loan debt.

"He can postpone," Pelosi said. "He can delay. But he does not have that power. That has to be an act of Congress."

Members of her own party have disagreed with that in the past, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, and Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, stating the president does have the authority to cancel debt via executive action. Schumer said Biden could do it "with the flick of a pen."

Biden directed the Department of Education and the Department of Justice to explore his legal authority to cancel debt, but they have yet to release any conclusion.

Pelosi also questioned the logic of canceling student loan debt, saying that families with children who don't go to college "may not be happy" about their tax dollars going toward forgiving others' obligations.

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