Calling on the Federal Government to Cancel Federal Student Loan Debt

Modeled after Senator Warren et al’s student loan debt cancelation resolution, this calls on President Biden to use his executive authority to cancel federal student loan debt.

WHEREAS over 43 million Americans hold more than $1.5 trillion of federal student loan debt at an average balance of $39,351[1] and more than 9 million federal student loan borrowers are currently in default on those federal student loans; and

WHEREAS women hold two thirds of all student debt, African American borrowers have higher than average levels of student debt, most borrowers have more than half of their student debt after 12 years of repayment, 40% of student loan borrowers did not finish college or obtain a degree, over 8 million student loan borrowers are over the age of 50[2]; and

WHEREAS cancelling student debt would increase African American wealth by a third, increase GDP by billions of dollars, add up to 1.5 million new jobs, and make it more likely for people to start or invest in a small business, obtain more advanced degrees, start a family, and buy a house2; and

WHEREAS the elimination of student debt represents an opportunity to support Ithaca residents, address racial and gender wage gaps, and provide better overall health outcomes to the general population since debt is associated with negative mental and physical health outcomes such as stress, depression, general health, obesity and mortality; now therefore be it

RESOLVED that the City of Ithaca’s Common Council calls on the President of the United States to take executive action to broadly cancel Federal student loan debt for Federal student loan borrowers administratively using existing legal authorities available under the law; and

RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution to be sent to President Joe Biden, Senator Chuck Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Congressman Tom Reed