Politics

Ocasio-Cortez Talks About Her Large Student Loan Debt of $20,000

While sitting in a House Financial Services Committee hearing, the progressive Democrat slammed Republicans — and said it's lawmakers' responsibility to bring these balances down

Image Credit: Facebook, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez & Shutterstock

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) this week insisted it is the job of those in Congress to find a way to bring down the tremendous amount of outstanding student loan debt in this country.

And while sitting in a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee, she went after Republicans — and then talked about her own large student debt, which she’s still paying off right now,

Speaking into the microphone, she told the committee she owes nearly $20,000 in student loans.

“I’m hearing people on this committee say it’s not our job,” she said, referring to Republican lawmakers, as The New York Post reported.

“This is our job,” she added.

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Related: Elizabeth Warren Would Forgive Up to $50,000 of Student Loan Debt for Each Person

The committee was in the midst of discussing ways to try to bring down the estimated $1.5 trillion in student debt owed within the United States.

“I literally made a student loan payment while I was sitting here at this chair, and I looked at my balance, and it was $20,237.16,” AOC said to the committee.

“I just made a payment that took me down to $19,000, so I feel really accomplished right now,” she added.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) — a 2020 Democratic primary candidate — recently supported legislation that would forgive up to $50,000 of student debt per individual.

Fellow candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) supports this as well.

Said Warren on this issue, “The student debt crisis is real and it’s crushing millions of people — especially people of color. It’s time to decide: Are we going to be a country that only helps the rich and powerful get richer and more powerful, or are we going to be a country that invests in its future?”

As Reuters reported in April, “Warren, in a post on the website Medium, proposed canceling $50,000 in student loan debt for anyone with annual household income under $100,000, which her campaign said would amount to 42 million Americans. It would also cancel some debt for those with household incomes between $100,000 and $250,000.”

“Warren, who has long advocated in Congress for providing debt relief to students, called student loan debt a ‘crisis.’ She said canceling debt for millions of people would help close the nation’s racial and wealth gap, and also proposed making all two-year and four-year public colleges free.”

Ocasio-Cortez, for her part, is not alone among congressional lawmakers in owing money for her college education.

She’s one of 70 members of Congress who are still paying off student debt for themselves or a dependent, as The Post reported.

AOC, who is 29, is a 2011 graduate of Boston University.

Last month, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to cancel student loan debts for veterans who are permanently disabled.

Let’s see if the topic of student loan debt in this country comes up at the Thursday night Democratic primary debate in Houston — dollars to donuts, it will.

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