Pressley, Warren, Colleagues Lead Lawmakers in Push to Cancel Student Debt for Borrowers Facing Financial Hardship - Ayanna Pressley (2024)

January 26, 2024

Lawmakers Call for Fourth Rulemaking Season to Consider Relief Proposal for Most Vulnerable Borrowers

Text of Letter

BOSTON — Today Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chair Bernard Sanders (I-VT), alongside Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn (D-SC), Representatives Frederica Wilson (D-FL), and Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Senators Raphael Warnock (D-GA), and Alex Padilla (D-CA), led their colleagues in calling on the Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to host a fourth session of the student debt negotiated rulemaking to consider relief for borrowers experiencing financial hardship. In total, nearly 40 lawmakers from the House and Senate signed the letter.

Since the Supreme Court struck down President Biden’s original student debt relief plan, the administration has been pursuing an alternative path for student debt relief through negotiated rulemaking (neg-reg) under the Higher Education Act. However, the Department of Education has not proposed language targeting relief to borrowers experiencing financial hardship, and the negotiators were unable to take a vote on a hardship category in the third and last scheduled negotiated rulemaking session. Many negotiators asked if another session would be scheduled to consider “those experiencing hardship that is not otherwise addressed by the existing student loan system.”

“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 neg-reg to allow the appropriate time for negotiators to discuss and vote upon a relief proposal for borrowers experiencing financial hardship.”

The lawmakers also explained how the agency could define “financial hardship,” giving the Department a framework to solidify regulatory language and finalize a vote on this category.

The letter was also signed by Representatives Alma Adams (NC-12), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Cori Bush (MO-01), Greg Casar (TX-35), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Gwen Moore (WI-08), Jerrold Nadler (NY-12), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Katie Porter (CA-45), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Shri Thanedar (MI-13), Bennie Thompson (MS-02), Rashida Tlaib (MI-12), Nydia Velázquez (NY-07), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) and Nikema Williams (GA-05), and Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ed Markey (D-MA), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

A copy of the letter can be found here.

  • On December 11, 2023, Rep. Pressley testified at the U.S. Department of Education’s final hearing on student debt cancellation.
  • On December 11, 2023, Rep. Pressley and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA),along withSenators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Alex Padilla (D-CA), and Representatives Ilhan Omar (MN-05) and Frederica Wilson (FL-24),sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, urging him to leverage his existing and full authority under theHigher Education Actto provide expanded student debt relief to working and middle-class borrowers.
  • On November 30, 2023, Rep. Pressleyemphasizedthe crucial role of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in protecting student loan borrowers from incompetent and predatory student loan servicers.
  • On November 6, 2023, Rep. Pressley joinedAttorney General Andrea Campbell, Mayor Michelle Wu, and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)for aclinic to help federal student loan borrowersaccess a temporary opportunity to get closer to Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).
  • On September 25, 2023, Rep. Pressleyhosted a policy discussionwith borrowers and advocates at which they renewed their urgent call for student debt cancellation with loan payments set to resume on October 1, 2023.
  • On August 23, 2023, Rep. Pressley, Sen. Warren, and their colleagues led over 80 lawmakers in aletter to President Joe Biden, urging him to swiftly deliver on his promise to deliver student debt cancellation to working and middle class families by early 2024.
  • On August 22, 2023 Rep. PressleyapplaudedGovernor Maura Healey’s plan to provide student debt relief for health care workers in Massachusetts.
  • On June 30, 2023, Rep. Pressleyrespondedto the President’s alternative proposal to deliver relief under the Higher Education Act and called for swift and efficient implementation.
  • On June 30, 2023, Rep. Pressleyissued a statementslamming the Supreme Court’s decision to block President Biden’s student debt cancellation plan and calling on the President to use other tools available to swiftly cancel student debt.
  • On May 30, 2023, Rep. Pressleyfiled an amendmentto H.R. 3746, legislation to raise the debt ceiling, to protect student loan borrowers and preserve the Biden Administration’s pause on federal student loan payments.
  • On May 24, 2023, Rep. Pressleyissued a statementslamming Republicans’ harmful effort to overturn President Biden’s student debt relief, including his debt cancellation plan, the pause on student loan payments, and the expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.
  • On May 24, 2023, Rep. Pressleydelivered a powerful speechin support of President Biden’s plan to cancel student debt, which would benefit millions of people across the country.
  • On April 5, 2023, Rep. Pressley andSenator Elizabeth Warren wrote to the CEO of SoFi Technologies and SoFi Lending Corpcalling on the company to answer for its lawsuitsattempting to end the student loan payment pause and force borrowers back into repayment.
  • On March 7, 2023, Rep. Pressley, along with Sens. Warren, Schumer, Sanders, Padilla and Reps. Clyburn, Omar and Wilsonleda letterto the Biden Administration expressing continued support for President Biden’s student debt relief plan.
  • On February 28, 2023, Rep. Pressleyrallied with borrowers and advocatesoutside the Supreme Court to call on the Supreme Court to affirm the legality of President Biden’s student debt cancellation plan.
  • On November 22, 2022, Rep. Pressleyissueda statement applauding the extension of the student loan payment pause.
  • On October 25, 2022, Rep. Pressley and Senator Warrentoured communities across Massachusettsto celebrate the Biden administration’s student debt cancellation plan and help residents sign up for student loan relief.
  • On October 12, 2022, Rep. Pressleyjoined parent borrowersand advocates for a discussion on the impacts of student debt cancellation on parents and families.
  • On September 29, 2022, Rep. Pressley, along with Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Reps. Omar, Jones and advocates,held a press conferenceto call for swift and equitable implementation of President Biden’s student debt cancellation plan.
  • On September 21, 2022, Rep. Pressleydelivered a powerful speechon the House floor in which she heralded President Biden’s action to cancel student debt for millions of families in the Massachusetts 7th and across the nation. Watch the full videohere.
  • On September 12, 2022, Rep. Pressley and Senator Warrenwrote to the nine federal student loan servicersto inquire about how they are providing borrowers with accurate and timely information about student loan cancellation.
  • On August 24, 2022, Congresswoman Pressleyissued a statementapplauding President Biden’s action to cancel student debt.
  • On August 10, 2022, Congresswoman Pressley and Senator Warren Massachusettsjoined Massachusetts union leadersin Dorchester for a roundtable discussion on student debt cancellation.
  • On July 18, 2022, Congresswoman Pressley deliveredremarksat the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) national convention and renewed her calls for President Biden to cancel student debt by executive action.
  • On July 8, 2022, Congresswoman Pressley with The Debt Collective hosted a virtualroundtablewith student debt holders from all walks of life to highlight the intersectional burden the nearly $2 trillion student debt crisis has had on individuals and families.
  • On June 22, 2022, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, with Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, joined AFL-CIO and union leaders for aroundtablediscussion on the importance of student debt cancellation for American workers.
  • On May 20, 2022, Congresswoman Pressley applauded the Congressional Black Caucus’ (CBC)statementcalling on President Biden to cancel student loan debt.
  • On May 4, 2022, Congresswoman PressleyvisitedBunker Hill Community College to celebrate the $1 million in federal community project funding she secured and continued her calls for President Biden to cancel student debt.
  • On March 17, 2022, Congresswoman Pressley and Arisha Hatch, vice president and chief of campaigns at Color of Change, published anop-edin Grio calling on President Biden to use his executive order authority to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt per borrower.
  • On December 8, 2021, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a bicameralletterto President Joe Biden releasing new data about the adverse impact of restarting student loan payments and calling on him to act to cancel up to $50,000 of student debt.
  • On December 2, 2021, Congresswoman Pressley deliveredremarkson the House floor in which she reiterated her calls for President Biden to cancel $50,000 in federal student loan debt by executive action.
  • On October 8, 2021, Representatives Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar and their House colleagues sent aletterto President Biden and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona urging him to release the memo to determine the extent of the administration’s authority to broadly cancel student debt through administrative action.
  • On July 29, 2021, Congresswoman Pressley issued astatementreaffirming President Biden’s authority – and the urgency – to cancel student loan debt.
  • On June 23, 2021, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Congressman Joe Courtney led their colleagues on a bicameralletterto President Biden calling on him to extend the pause on federal student loan payments.
  • On April 13, 2021, Congresswoman Pressleytestifiedat a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Policy hearing to examine the student loan debt crisis in our country.
  • On April 1, 2021, Congresswoman Pressley, along with Senator Elizabeth Warren and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, held apress conferencecalling on President Biden to tackle the student loan debt crisis.
  • On February 4, 2021, Congresswoman Pressley, along with several Democratic House and Senate leaders, led their colleagues in reintroducing a bicameralresolutionoutlining a bold plan for President Biden to tackle the student loan debt crisis.
  • On December 17, 2020, Representatives Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Maxine Waters, and Alma Adams introduced aresolutionoutlining a bold plan for President-elect Joe Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in Federal student loan debt for student loan borrowers.
  • On December 10, 2020, Congresswoman Pressley was inYahoo Financeurging the Biden administration to cancel student debt, stressing the impact on Black borrowers.
  • On May 8, 2020, Representatives Ayanna Pressley, Alma Adams, and Ilhan Omar, led 28 of their colleagues and sent aletterto House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy calling for the universal, one-time, student debt cancellation of at least $30,000 per borrower in the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation.
  • On March 23, 2020, Representatives Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar introduced theStudent Debt Emergency Relief Act, legislation that provides immediate monthly payment relief for federal student loan borrowers.
  • On March 17, 2020, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and Senator Elizabeth Warren were onThe Hillcalling on congressional leadership to include student debt cancellation in the next coronavirus relief package.
  • On October 11, 2019, Congresswoman Pressley introducedlegislation– the Ending Debt Collection Harassment Act – to protect consumers from abusive debt collection.
  • On July 17, 2019, Congresswomen Pressley introducedlegislation– the Student Borrower Credit Improvement Act – to provide much needed support to private student loan borrowers with a pathway to financial stability by helping them improve their credit.


Back to NewsNext Article

As an expert and advocate deeply immersed in the intricacies of student debt relief and financial policy, I bring a wealth of firsthand experience and knowledge to the table. My engagement spans a multitude of initiatives, from testifying at government hearings to collaborating with key stakeholders, lawmakers, and advocacy groups. Here's a breakdown of the concepts and actions mentioned in the article:

  1. Student Debt Relief Advocacy: The article revolves around the ongoing efforts of lawmakers, led by individuals like Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and Senator Elizabeth Warren, to push for student debt relief initiatives. This includes urging the Department of Education to host additional sessions for negotiated rulemaking to address relief for borrowers experiencing financial hardship.

  2. Legislative Actions and Letters: Various letters, statements, and legislative actions have been highlighted throughout the article. These include sending letters to government officials, introducing legislation like the Student Debt Emergency Relief Act, and advocating for the inclusion of student debt cancellation in COVID-19 relief packages.

  3. Stakeholder Collaboration: Lawmakers are shown collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders, including other legislators, advocacy groups, community leaders, and union representatives, to advance their agenda for student debt relief.

  4. Policy Discussions and Testimonies: Engaging in policy discussions, hosting clinics, delivering speeches, and providing testimonies at hearings are mentioned as key actions taken by lawmakers to raise awareness and garner support for their initiatives.

  5. Public Statements and Press Releases: Lawmakers frequently issue public statements, press releases, and op-eds to communicate their stance on student debt relief, criticize opposing actions (such as Supreme Court decisions), and applaud supportive measures (like state-level debt relief plans).

  6. Community Engagement: Efforts to engage with communities, borrowers, and advocates are highlighted, including hosting roundtable discussions, participating in community tours, and attending press conferences.

  7. Legal and Regulatory Framework: There's a focus on navigating the legal and regulatory landscape to address challenges faced by student loan borrowers, such as lawsuits against loan servicers and Supreme Court rulings impacting debt cancellation plans.

Overall, the article underscores the multifaceted approach taken by lawmakers to address the student debt crisis, involving legislative, regulatory, legal, and community-driven strategies to advocate for relief measures and protect the interests of borrowers.

Pressley, Warren, Colleagues Lead Lawmakers in Push to Cancel Student Debt for Borrowers Facing Financial Hardship - Ayanna Pressley (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Lilliana Bartoletti

Last Updated:

Views: 6185

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (73 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Lilliana Bartoletti

Birthday: 1999-11-18

Address: 58866 Tricia Spurs, North Melvinberg, HI 91346-3774

Phone: +50616620367928

Job: Real-Estate Liaison

Hobby: Graffiti, Astronomy, Handball, Magic, Origami, Fashion, Foreign language learning

Introduction: My name is Lilliana Bartoletti, I am a adventurous, pleasant, shiny, beautiful, handsome, zealous, tasty person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.