Student loan crisis is just as big as climate change, Rep. Clyburn says. Here's why

Student loan crisis is just as big as climate change, Rep. Clyburn says. Here's why


House Democratic Caucus Chairman James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., throughout an interview in his hideaway within the U.S. Capitol. 

Scott J. Ferrell | Cq-roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On a latest Sunday afternoon, Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., was attending a church service in his hometown of Sumter, South Carolina, when a member of his workers handed him a letter from a constituent.

The man was writing to share the ache his student debt had caused him, and to thank Clyburn and President Joe Biden for his or her latest actions. After greater than three many years of funds, he’d gotten over $100,000 of his debt forgiven.

“My workers inform me these cellphone calls are available in on a regular basis,” Clyburn stated to CNBC. “About half of them are crying on the cellphone about what a aid this is.”

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The Biden administration has reformed the federal government’s applications that result in pupil loan forgiveness, ensuing in additional than 3.7 million Americans receiving debt cancellation, for a complete of $136 billion in aid. After the Supreme Court blocked the president’s sweeping debt forgiveness plan, which erased as much as $20,000 for tens of hundreds of thousands of individuals, Biden directed the U.S. Department of Education to work on a narrower debt aid bundle that may stand higher legal chances.

Clyburn has performed no small part in all of this.

It appears that every month the congressman is pushing for extra aid for the nation’s 40 million pupil loan debtors, and he usually mentions the difficulty of schooling debt in his tv information appearances.

Clyburn counts pupil loan debt as “the most important” problem dealing with Americans at the moment, partly as a result of failing to handle it exacerbates different crises.

“You’re not going to resolve the climate crisis until you’ve got obtained well-educated and educated folks to do it,” he stated. “You’re not going to resolve the health-care crisis with out docs and nurses. And pupil loan debt is the easiest way to go.”

These days, Clyburn is excited about how pupil debt might influence the 2024 presidential election. He is nervous many voters don’t understand it was the Supreme Court’s conservative majority that finally stopped Biden’s biggest plan for forgiveness.

CNBC sat down with the congressman in late January in his workplace to debate the scholar loan crisis and voters. (The interview has been edited and condensed for readability.)

‘Forgiveness cannot attain everyone’

Annie Nova: At 83, you’re one of the oldest members of Congress. Student debt is largely thought of a teenager’s problem (though we all know it impacts older people, too). Why do you care a lot concerning the topic?

Rep. James Clyburn: I feel one of many worst issues about politics on this Hill is that everyone reduces all the things to the individual. I used to be not placed on this earth for my very own sake. Sometimes my brother says, “Maybe our spiritual upbringing was a curse” And perhaps it was. But I do not ever go to mattress at night time regretting having lived a day. I remorse having to work together with a number of the folks I work together with.

AN: The Biden administration has forgiven a variety of pupil debt, however I usually hear from debtors who’ve been neglected of the aid. Much more, they are saying, nonetheless must be finished.

JC: When I first mentioned pupil loan debt with the president, I had a chunk of laws giving $50,000 in debt elimination to college students. Joe Biden would by no means purchase into that.

AN: Was that quantity an excessive amount of?

JC: I did not say it was an excessive amount of. It wasn’t the way in which he thought it must be finished. I came upon later, he was proper. If I had given $50,000 to somebody to repay a $300,000 debt, they might nonetheless owe $250,000. Instead, the president stated, ‘Let’s repair these applications that we’ve.’ Forgiveness cannot attain everyone. What it’s important to do is have a course of that everybody can qualify for.

‘How are you able to blame Biden for the Supreme Court?’

AN: But the plan Biden did finally announce would have forgiven $400 billion in pupil debt, and impacted tens of hundreds of thousands of individuals.

JC: How are you able to blame Biden for the Supreme Court? I do not see a single lady that blames Biden for the Dobbs decision. [In Dobbs v. Jackson, the justices overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that established the constitutional right to abortion.] We have a right-wing Supreme Court that is intent on sustaining an underclass.

AN: Do you suppose voters perceive that it was the Supreme Court that blocked the president’s broad forgiveness plan?

JC: No, they do not. They’re blaming the president for it. I feel it might be good if folks stated, “To his credit score, he tried. But the Supreme Court stopped him. So he went this different route.” You have $136 billion in debt forgiveness, and he is not imagined to get credit score for that? There’s one thing about Joe Biden that individuals just do not give credit score to.

AN: So how are you going to change that forward of November?

JC: Well, going ahead, I’m advised by the Department of Education, that each two months for the following 4 years, one other 75,000 folks will likely be eligible to have their debt forgiven. That’s beneath the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and income-driven reimbursement plans.

AN: What would one other Trump presidency be like for pupil loan debtors?

JC: I’d say to any younger individual, “Who do you need to be in command of this nation when your future arrives?” This nation holds an excessive amount of promise for us to permit it to go the way in which of Germany or Italy. All these folks paid a hell of a value for taking a raffle on democracy.

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