January 26, 2024

Wyden, Colleagues Call for Student Debt Cancellation for Borrowers Facing Financial Hardship

Washington, D.C. —  Oregon’s U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today joined Senate and House colleagues in calling on the Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to host a fourth session of student debt negotiated rulemaking to consider relief for borrowers experiencing financial hardship. In total, nearly 40 lawmakers from the Senate and House signed the letter.

“While we appreciate the efforts of the Department and the negotiating committee, we are concerned that, without full consideration of cancellation targeted toward borrowers facing financial hardship, the rule will not provide adequate debt relief for the most vulnerable borrowers,” the lawmakers wrote. “The Department should announce a fourth session of the negotiated rulemaking to allow the appropriate time for negotiators to discuss and vote upon a relief proposal for borrowers experiencing financial hardship.”

The Supreme Court struck down President Biden’s original student debt relief plan in June of 2023, and  the administration has since been pursuing an alternative path for student debt relief. However, the Department of Education has not proposed language targeting relief to borrowers experiencing financial hardship, and the lawmakers have called for another session to address this group of borrowers in need of assistance.

The letter was lead by U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), and U.S. Representatives Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). Along with Wyden, the letter was also signed by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Chris Van Hollen (D-M.D.), and Peter Welch (D-Vt.), and Representatives Alma Adams (D-N.C.), Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), Cori Bush (D-M.O), Greg Casar (D-T.X.), Kathy Castor (D-Fla), Dwight Evans (D-Pa.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Katie Porter (D-Calif.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Shri Thanedar (D-Mich.), Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), and Nikema Williams (D-Ga.).

Full text of the letter is here.