WASHINGTON (WHDH) - Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley, of Massachusetts, and Ilhan Omar, of Minnesota, are calling for the cancellation of student debt amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The two representatives introduced Monday the Student Debt Emergency Relief Act, which they say would provide debt relief for 45 million workers and families while boosting the economy.

“During this unprecedented crisis, no one should have to choose between paying their student loan payment, putting food on the table or keeping themselves and their families safe and healthy,” Pressley said. “Our $1.6 trillion student debt crisis stands in the way of any meaningful economic recovery effort during and after this pandemic, which is why we must cancel student loan debt in order to jumpstart the economy. My bill, the Student Debt Emergency Relief Act, will provide immediate relief for workers and families crushed by the financial and emotional burden of massive student debt. We must prioritize debt cancellation for the 45 million student loan borrowers who are struggling to pay off their debt during this difficult time.”

This legislation would provide immediate monthly payment relief for federal student loan borrowers, cancel at least $30,000 in outstanding student loan debt per borrower, and shield borrowers from any involuntary payments and garnishment during the public health crisis.

The act is endorsed by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, American Federation of Teachers, Student Debt Crisis, Americans for Financial Reform, National Education Association, National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low income clients), Student Action, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and the Hispanic Federation.

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