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Warren, Pressley urge student debt cancellation to be part of next coronavirus emergency funding package

The Hill logo The Hill 3/17/2020 Zack Budryk
Ayanna Pressley wearing a hat: Warren, Pressley urge student debt cancellation to be part of next coronavirus emergency funding package © Greg Nash Warren, Pressley urge student debt cancellation to be part of next coronavirus emergency funding package

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) said Tuesday that she and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) will call on congressional leadership to include student debt cancellation in the next coronavirus relief package.

"Student loan cancellation has to be part of the next emergency funding package. @SenWarren & I are calling on Senate & House leadership to prioritize this," Pressley, who served as a co-chair for Warren's presidential campaign before the Massachusetts senator suspended it, tweeted Tuesday.

"We need bold action now. A plan that will ensure that we do not repeat the mistakes of the 2008 financial crisis. Debt cancellation. Across the board," Pressley added. "Immediately, the Secretary of Education must take over all monthly payments during this public health emergency."

"Student loan debt cancellation MUST be a part of the next emergency coronavirus package to deliver relief immediately to millions of families and remove a giant weight that's dragging down our economy," Warren said in a tweet of her own Tuesday. "Senate and House progressives are in this fight all the way."

Lawmakers and officials on both sides of the aisle have called for economic relief to offset the financial toll of the virus, and numerous businesses and services shut down as part of social distancing efforts. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday that the Trump administration is considering distributing checks to all Americans to provide stimulus.

At the state level, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) on Tuesday announced that the state will suspend collection of student and medical debt, tweeting, "In this time of crisis, I won't add undue stress or saddle NYers with unnecessary financial burden, this is the time to support residents."

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