Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued a strongly-worded statement against the Supreme Court justices and Republicans in the wake of the court's decision that struck down President Joe Biden’s executive order to cancel student debt.
“With every decision, from stripping abortion rights and affirmative action to allowing for the destruction of our wetlands and the undermining of LGBTQ+ rights, the Supreme Court is showing the need to expand the court and legislate ethics standards that ensure the Court is working for the people — not for political interests and wealthy benefactors,” Jayapal’s statement read in part.
Calling the ruling “devastating”, Jayapal mentioned pre-pandemic statistics where more than 25 per cent of borrowers were behind on payments, and one borrower defaulted every 26 seconds. She cited the Department of Education’s estimation that these statistics were about to get worse for millions in the event of loan cancellation being repealed and that one in five borrowers will struggle financially once payments resume.
The Congresswoman stated that contrary to popular belief, student loans did not just affect the young population, and is one of the largest factors contributing to the rise in debt among seniors. Jayapal stated nine million people with student loan debt were above 50 years of age, and nearly one million of them were over the age of 65. She further criticized the “unacceptable” in-state tuition and fee hikes at public colleges and universities, stating that they went up by 175 per cent in the past two decades.
Jayapal said that the recent SC ruling just blocked President Biden’s executive order and that there were other ways that Biden can utilize to cancel student debt. “We urge him to use them and deliver this cancellation 43 million people desperately need as quickly as possible. Inaction is not an option,” her statement concluded.