Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), has introduced a bill to cancel student debt in the United States for tens of millions of people, a plan she’s been consistently championing on the 2020 road to the White House, Yahoo Finance reports.
Warren is partnering with Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) on the “Student Loan Debt Relief Act of 2019; The South Carolina elder statesman will sponsor companion legislation in the House.
The Student Loan Debt Relief Act of 2019 would forgive $50,000 in student loans for Americans in households earning less than $100,000 a year; households earning more than $100,000 would receive partial relief, with the sums getting increasingly smaller until the debt relief caps at households earning more than $250,000, CNN reports.
Warren proposes to pay for the student debt relief with revenue from a proposed wealth tax, which would assess a 2% tax on wealth above $50 million and a 3% tax on wealth above $1 billion—a plan that 61% of Americans supports according to a February Morning Consult poll, the Washington Post reports.
“You know what we can do in America with two cents?” Warren rhetorically asked during her remarks at the 2019 Essence Festival. “We could start by providing universal childcare to every baby 0 to 5 in this country. We could provide universal pre-K for every three-year-old and four-year-old in this country. We could raise the wages of every childcare worker and preschool teacher in this country.
“And with that same two cents, we could do more,” Warren continued. “We could provide tuition-free technical school, community college and four-year college to every one of our kids who wants an education. We could also level the playing field and that means a $50 Billion investment into HBCUs. We could cancel student loan debt for 95% of the kids who got it. We can start to close that Black-white wealth gap.”
For Warren—the consumer advocate and the politician—the time to dismantle crushing student debt is long overdue.
“My very first bill when I got to the Senate was legislation to tackle the growing student debt crisis because I was sick of Washington allowing the wealthy to pay less, while burying tens of millions of Americans in mountains of student loan debt,” Warren said in the press release announcing the Student Loan Debt Relief Act of 2019. “Since then, Washington has only allowed this crisis to get worse—especially for people of color. Enough is enough.”