From Your Lobbyist: Congress is out, but the Administration is hard at work
April 2, 2021
Week of Mar 29 – Apr 2
This Week’s Events:
- Biden Unveils American Jobs Plan: On Wednesday, President Biden unveiled the American Jobs Plan, a proposal that, if enacted into law, would funnell trillions of dollars to rebuild America’s roads, bridges, and highways––all with a focus on climate impact and clean jobs for the future. A first step in actualizing the Green New Deal, which AYA has been advocating for, the plan focuses on how building back these industries better means building them back with racial equity, environmental impact, and making sure the dignity of the working people is front and center. AYA is grateful to the White House for this comprehensive green proposal; however, it is just a first step and we encourage the administration to be bolder and swifter in its timeline for climate action. Additionally, as it relates specifically to young people, the plan would only create 10,000-20,000 to train and employ young people for clean energy jobs, significantly less than what is needed to decarbonize the economy.
- Department of Ed Extends Student Loan Pauses: This week, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced an expansion of the pause on federal student loan interest and collections to all defaulted loans in the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program. This action will help more than one million additional borrowers burdened by debt during the COVID-19 emergency. AYA is grateful that Secretary Cardona understands the importance of this issue: “At a time when many student loan borrowers have faced economic uncertainty, we’re ensuring that relief already provided to borrowers of loans held by the Department is available to more borrowers who need the same help so they can focus on meeting their basic need. Our goal is to enable these borrowers who are struggling in default to get the same protections previously made available to tens of millions of other borrowers to help weather the uncertainty of the pandemic.”
Policies We’re Advocating For:
- $50K in Student Debt Cancellation per Borrower: The Biden administration is actively considering whether or not to cancel up to $50,000 of student debt per borrower. Yesterday, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain indicated that Biden asked Secretary of Education Cardona to put together a memo outlining potential legal authorities that would allow him to enact broad student loan cancellation of up to $50,000. Given that executive action is the fastest track toward cancellation, AYA is excited to see the Administration effectively considering the move.