Elizabeth Warren unveils plan to clear student debt for 42M in U.S.

Jan. 14 (UPI) — Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren unveiled a plan Tuesday to fully cancel most Americans’ federal student loan debts, and said she will begin on her first day in the White House.

The Massachusetts senator posted the plan, titled “My Plan to Cancel Student Loan Debt on Day One of My Presidency,” to her Medium page.

“Student loan debt is holding back our economy and crushing millions of families,” she wrote. “We can’t afford to wait for Congress — we need to address student debt on day one.”

As part of her proposal, Warren said she would use existing authority held by the Education Department to clear away student debt for 42 million Americans.

“In addition to using all available tools to address racial disparities in higher education, [I will] crack down on for-profit institutions and eliminate predatory lending,” she wrote.

Under the plan, 95 percent of student federal loan borrowers would see up to $50,000 eliminated. Warren co-sponsored a bill last year that would have forgiven that amount for students with household incomes under $100,000. She said Tuesday, however, the Higher Education Act already gives the department power clear debts even if they don’t qualify for cancellation programs, like the permanent disability discharge.

Warren’s proposal goes further than those pitched by Democratic candidates Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg, but doesn’t go quite as far as Bernie Sanders‘ plan to forgive any and all student debt.

Warren unveiled the plan just hours before she and five other candidates were set to participate in the seventh Democratic primary debate Tuesday night in Des Moines, Iowa.