Still, there’s likely to be pressure from other Biden advisers to keep debt relief targeted. Because canceling more debt for each borrower would provide more aid to debt-laden borrowers with high incomes, moderate Democrats favor a narrower approach that would be more equitable and less politically dicey.
But trying to design a program that benefits the neediest borrowers may make it more complicated to award relief quickly, say proponents of broad debt cancellation.
“This is a microcosm of many intra-progressive, intra-left policy debates—whether it’s better to do something universal and achieve something with relative ease or ensure that only those struggling by some definition get relief,” said Mark Huelsman, associate director of policy and research at Demos. “I don’t think that debate is going away any time soon.”