- Biden just canceled up to $20,000 in student debt for federal borrowers.
- AOC lauded the relief, but she said she will keep pushing for those with higher debt amounts.
- "It is up to us, and to you, to decide if we are going to stop here," she wrote on Instagram.
President Joe Biden may have just canceled student debt broadly, but New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn't think he should stop there.
On Wednesday, Biden finally took a step toward fulfilling a core part of his campaign pledge by announcing up to $20,000 in student-debt cancellation for Pell Grant recipients making under $125,000 a year and up to $10,000 in relief for other federal borrowers under the same income cap. While Biden said this would be a "one-time" broad relief, though, Ocasio-Cortez doesn't think that suffices.
"It was YOUR pushing, YOUR pressure, YOUR organizing that got them to this point," Ocasio-Cortez wrote in an Instagram post, referring to Biden's student-loan forgiveness. "It is up to us, and to you, to decide if we are going to stop here, or if we are going to keep pushing."
She added: "I am very grateful for this watershed moment of a first step – it is so encouraging, thrilling, and has already changed SO many people's lives. But I am also thinking about how this still leaves a question mark for those in the highest amounts of debt, who need the most amount of help. So let's celebrate and keep going."
She also linked back to Twitter comments she made in May when she said that even if student-loan forgiveness might not impact everyone, "that doesn't make it bad."
—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 27, 2022
Still, the White House has continued since Wednesday to say that no further broad relief will be coming, and rather, the administration will continue to focus on targeted programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Many Republican lawmakers have also railed against the relief — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called it "astonishingly unfair," and Fox News on Friday obtained a letter from nearly 100 Republican lawmakers asking Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to take action against Biden for overstepping his authority with student-loan forgiveness.
While the announced relief is expected to wipe out student debt balances for about 20 million student-loan borrowers, Insider has previously spoken to over two dozen other borrowers — some with close to $1 million in student debt — who will hardly see a change in their loan amounts after this relief.
"It is not even a drop in the bucket," a borrower with over $300,000 in student debt previously said. "If you wanted to make a real difference, you could do away with half the interest we've accrued, but for now I'll never be able to cover the payments."