Biden Opposes Defunding The Police, Rejects $50K Student Loan Forgiveness

President Joe Biden did not appear to make any new fans during his most recent town hall on CNN. While answering questions from in Milwaukee, the President took a strong stance against forgiving $50,000 in student debt for all Americans.

"I do think in this moment of economic pain and strain that we should be eliminating interest on the debts that are accumulated, No. 1. And No. 2, I'm prepared to write off the $10,000 debt, but not [$50,000]," he told one town hall attendee.

Biden's remarks are not surprising given his previous statements, but his feelings do run contrary to his colleagues in Congress. Sen. Chuck Schumer, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Ayanna Pressley and several others have urged the President to forgive $50,000 in student loan debt for all Americans. Adding on, many Black voters have pushed for more than $10,000 in student loan forgiveness. A major reason why Black voters have pushed for widespread student loan reform is that 56% of Black voters have taken on some form of student debt to pay for higher education. As a result, a recent poll shared with NBC News found that 67% of Black voters strongly support eliminating student loan debt. Many of these registered Black voters played a role in Biden's victory in November and the Democratic Party's ability to regain control over the Senate.

“Black voters who were responsible for delivering not only a majority in the Senate, but [also] a Biden-Harris administration … overwhelmingly want to see sweeping reform in terms of student loan elimination,” Color of Change Vice President Arisha Hatch said.

In addition to his comments about student loan relief, Biden also expressed his feelings about the "defund the police" movement. When asked how communities could address high crime, he said that he would not defund the police.

“By, number one, not defunding the police," he said.

“We have to put more money for this to work so we have legitimate community policing, and we are in a situation where we can change the legislation."

While on the campaign trail, Biden mentioned that he had put together a $300 million program to better train police officers. He has also stated that he would be in favor of redirecting funds from police departments toward mental health services, which is a form of defunding the police. Actually, a study from PerryUndem has found that many Americans, like Joe Biden, support defunding the police. However, they tend to shy away from using the words, defund the police, due to sociopolitical pressures. PerryUndem found that 72% of Americans support defund-the-police-friendly measures like reallocating police funding to help mental health experts.

“People’s understanding is evolving literally every day,” Tresa Undem of PerryUndem told Vox.

"When there’s very little knowledge [about the defund the police movement], that’s when question-wording really has an effect on responses.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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