- The CBC is seeking to meet with Biden as he decides how much student debt to cancel.
- "To help free Black borrowers, President Biden must cancel $50,000 in student debt," Beatty said in a statement.
- The White House shut down that level of debt forgiveness, but Democrats are piling on pressure.
The Congressional Black Caucus joined the chorus of voices calling on President Joe Biden to cancel student debt.
In a statement, CBC chair Rep. Joyce Beatty urged the White House to take action on "broad-based student debt cancellation" totaling $50,000 per borrower in the near future.
The CBC highlighted the disproportionate burden that student loans have had on Black Americans, who are not only more likely to take on debt for school, but nearly five times as likely to default on their loans than their white peers, according to the Brookings Institute.
Student debt "has devastated families and roadblocked opportunities for countless Black Americans," the CBC said in its statement.
The CBC also criticized Biden for shutting down the possibility of canceling $50,000 in debt per borrower last month, which progressives have been gunning for. During Biden's presidential campaign, he promised that he would wipe out at least $10,000 per person.
"To help free Black borrowers, President Biden must cancel $50,000 in student debt," Beatty wrote. "This is what the NAACP has been calling for, for over 2 years. $10,000 won't do anything for the Black community, it'll only help with wealthiest class in America. It's time to support low-income families and the Black community by canceling $50,000."
Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley, who is a member of the CBC, supported its message to Biden in a statement on Friday.
"By canceling student loan debt, President Biden can single-handedly transform the lives of millions of workers and families across this country and help reduce the racial wealth gap," she wrote. "Our communities have waited long enough for relief and President Biden must act without further delay."
This comes after the Congressional Hispanic Caucus met with Biden last month, and builds on the message from many Democratic lawmakers that canceling student debt will amplify racial justice in the country. Recent data from Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren's office, for example, found $10,000 in relief would wipe out balances for 2 million Black borrowers, and $50,000 in relief would reduce the share of Black people with student debt from 24% to 6%, narrowing the Black-white gap.
The White House closed the door on erasing $50,000 amount in student debt, signaling it would instead be closer to the president's original campaign pledge of providing $10,000 in debt relief. But other Democrats are raising the pressure on Biden to cancel $50,000 per borrower as he inches closer towards a decision.
Those include Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia.
The trio of Democrats recently met with Biden in the White House on Wednesday afternoon to make their case. Warnock, another Black lawmaker, faces a difficult re-election campaign in Georgia.
"My message is that we need to do student debt cancellation and we can do it soon enough," Warnock said on Tuesday. "And it needs to be large and significant enough to make a difference in the lives of hardworking Georgia families."