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Rep. Ro Khanna said he fears student debt is preventing Americans from starting families or buying homes.
“It leads to young people not wanting to have families,” the California Democrat told Fox News. “That means young people are not able to buy houses.”
President Biden has twice extended a pause on student loan payments, which began in March 2020 to mitigate the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and response. The freeze is set to expire after April 30, but multiple outlets have reported that the White House will extend the hiatus until August 31.
“I support extending the break and I support canceling it for working families,” Khanna told Fox News. “It’s wrong that young people start out with $20, $30, $40,000 in debt.”
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Biden announced a $5.8 trillion budget proposal last month. Khanna supported the plan for its focus on “cutting costs for working families”, although it did not include a student debt relief plan.
The president campaigned to help student loan programs and forgive up to $10,000 per person in federal student loans. Biden has so far canceled more than $17 billion in student loans, CNN reported.
About 43 million Americans owe $1.6 trillion in student debt, according to the Department of Education.
“Do we have someone going into debt to finish high school? No. Do we have someone going into debt to finish high school? No,” Khanna added. “So why should it be okay to go into debt to get your trade certificate or to get community college or college?”
All Americans should be able to get an education “without going into thousands of dollars in debt,” Khanna told Fox News. For student debt to be erased, the debt would have to be partially “cancelled” and would involve raising “the top tax rate to 39%” as was the case under President Clinton,” a- he added.
“How come some corporations pay zero percent tax?” Khanna said. “We can make sure that people who are very, very rich pay at least 20%. That’s what teachers and firefighters pay.”
At least 55 corporations paid no federal income tax in 2020, according to a study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Critics pointed out that the report was not based on tax returns. Nike, one of the 55 companies highlighted, for example, said it had paid $9.6 billion in taxes since 2016.
“We need tax reform in this country so that rich people and rich businesses pay their fair share,” Khanna told Fox News.
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The Khanna Congressional District is located in the heart of Silicon Valley. The Democrat told Fox News that his district “has an $11 trillion market capitalization” and that many of the district’s billionaires are willing to “pay a little more tax” so everyone else can “have a fair chance to realize the American dream“. .”
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Khanna said opponents of student loan forgiveness argue that if they or their parents have paid student loans, then everyone else should. The congressman said he had “so much admiration for the parents who made these sacrifices for their children.”
“My parents sacrificed so they could pay for part of my college education, my brothers’ college education,” Khanna told Fox News. “That doesn’t mean that just because your parents did it or you did it, we don’t want to do something better for the next generation.”
“How is this good for our country? Khanna continued. “I wish we could have a bipartisan consensus that you can start your life in this country without having to pay $20, $30,000 in debt.”