Biden’s approval rating among those under 30 has dropped 50 points since inauguration day. This administration threatens to be defined by its failure to deliver gains for working people.

President Joe Biden extended the pause on student loan payments and interest in December 2021 as Omicron spread, a forbearance that began under the Trump administration in 2020. Yes, the delay is a victory for those crushed by a cumulative of almost $2 billions of dollars in student debt, but it also fails to truly solve the debt, a pressing problem for more than 40 million Americans.

To avoid a blowout in this year’s midterm elections, Democrats must make their plan to cancel student debt transparent and deliver a tangible victory for my generation.

On the 2020 campaign, Biden repeatedly asserted that he would support $ten,000 cancellation of student debt, which should be done immediately. He had rejected more (as proposed by some main challengers), saying, I don’t think I have the power to do that. »

But Suzanne Kahn, managing director of research and policy at the Roosevelt Institute, says Biden has power, even without Congress:[Biden] has the power to order the Secretary of Education to cancel at least all of the student debt held by the federal government, which is approximately 95% of student debt there.

In April 2021, Biden asked Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to prepare a memo on his student debt forgiveness powers. In October 2021the New Yorker reported that, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request from debtors’ union Debt Collective, we know there’s an update from the Department of Education – we just don’t know what it says. The note, titled The Secretary’s Legal Authority for Large-Scale Debt Cancellation,” was heavily redacted in millennial pink.

Anti-austerity politicians will try to pit Americans against each other by portraying the student debt crisis as a non-issue for working people. Representative Dan Crenshaw (R Texas), for example, called the movement “cancel student debt” openly corrupt”, a ploy bribing elites who hold expensive college degrees. Biden himself pushed this narrative in a weird way by saying he’s concerned about canceling student debt from Harvard and Yale and Penn”.

But the regressivity of student loans is a myth. A memoir from the Roosevelt Institute sums it up this way: Debt cancellation leads to the greatest reductions in the debt-to-income ratio for those with the lowest incomes. After all, almost 40% of borrowers have never even obtained a diploma.

A 2021 Student Debt Crisis Center investigation found that 89% of full-time student borrowers who cannot afford to pay their payments in February; 20% said they will never be financially secure enough to resume payments; and 27% noted a third of their income or more” goes to student loans. As early protections against the pandemic fade (such as the child tax credit, federal jobless aid, and the eviction moratorium), the threats deepen. According to a New York Federal Reserve survey, 28% of Americans say they are a little” or much worse” than a year ago.

The population of student borrowers is a core of the Democratic base – young people with post-secondary education. It is a generation which, faced with the Covid-19 and an impending Trump second term, mobilized for Biden. Youth voter turnout has increased 8% more than 2016, with more than half of all eligible young people voting. Among Gen Z voters, 65% went for Biden, 11% more than any other age group.

The Dems can’t keep delaying meaningful action and waiting for our votes. According to data from YouGov and the EconomistBiden’s approval rating among less than 30 dived 50 points since the day of the inauguration. This administration threatens to be defined by its failure to deliver gains for working people.

Meanwhile, loan repayments are expected to resume in May 2— one day after International Workers’ Day. Let’s get organized.