Assembly Member Santiago Urges President Biden to Cancel All Student Debt

For immediate release:

(Los Angeles, CA) – With inflation rising and student debt payments set to resume in a few months, Assembly Member Miguel Santiago (D- Los Angeles) has introduced Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR) 33 to call on President Biden to cancel all federal student debt.

“I applaud President Biden for his proposal to cancel $10,000 of student debt per person,” said Assembly Member Miguel Santiago. “However, more must be done. Widespread student debt cancellation will be largely beneficial to all student borrowers. AJR 33 sends a message that the State of California supports cancelling all federal student debt.”

President Biden’s current student debt forgiveness proposal would forgive $10,000 of student debt per person making less than $150,000 per year. While the President’s plan is laudable, cancelling $10,000 per borrower is not enough, and the means-test tied to it poses complicated and unnecessary barriers to forgiveness. Other details of the plan have yet to be released and the Biden Administration has made no official announcement.

According to a report by the California Student Aid Commission, Black student borrowers in California with bachelor’s degrees possess nearly 50 percent more student loan debt compared to their White peers four years after graduation. Cancelling $10,000 of student debt would further contribute to the racial wealth gap. Additionally, at a time of devastating inflation, more than $10,000 of forgiveness is needed to have a meaningful impact on most borrowers.

AJR 33 is scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Higher Education Committee on June 8th.

Assembly Member Miguel Santiago is the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization and Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Los Angeles County Homelessness. He also sits on the Assembly Committees on Public Safety, Health, Higher Education and Utilities and Energy. He represents the 53rd District composed of the cities of Los Angeles, Huntington Park, and Vernon.