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Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Monday unveiled an ambitious proposal to cancel student loan debt, seeking to reinforce his progressive credentials days before the first debates.
For Sanders, an Independent senator from Vermont, the student debt plan is an opportunity to reestablish himself as the Democratic primary field’s progressive leader on the issue of college affordability.
Plan - Sanders - Rival - Sen - Elizabeth
The plan comes as Sanders finds himself facing an ascendant progressive rival in Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who has set herself apart by releasing a steady stream of sweeping policy proposals.
“It’s smart on his part. It’s an extension on the 2016 campaign when he called for free college tuition in public universities,” said Mark Longabaugh, a top adviser to Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Step - Warren - Bernie - Plans - Policy
“So I think this is just taking it a step further. Both the Warren and the Bernie plans are not only good public policy — good progressive policy — but good politics.”
Sanders said his plan would cancel about $1.6 trillion in student debt for about 45 million people and that all of the debt would be canceled within a six-month period.
Proposal - Debt - Part - Package - Colleges
His proposal to cancel the debt is part of a package that is also designed to make public colleges tuition-free and ensure that students can attend college debt-free. He proposes paying for the package with a tax on trades of stocks, bonds and derivatives.
During a press conference on Monday outside of the U.S. Capitol building, Sanders contrasted his proposal to the bank bailout that Congress passed during the 2008 financial crisis.
Years - Greed - Behavior - Wall - Street
“Ten years ago, because of their greed and illegal behavior, Wall Street banks were on the verge of collapse, and the United States Congress with taxpayer assistance came to their aid,” he said. “Well now we got millions and millions of families in this country who are struggling with outrageous levels of...
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