Rep. Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez reaffirmed her call for President Biden cancel student debt Friday, after moderate Democrats, such as Sen. Joe Manchin from West Virginia, forced substantial cuts to programs that were favored by progressives under the "Build Back better Act."
Biden's framework agreement for his social spending bill includes $1.75 trillion in spending over 10 year, which is a substantial decrease from the original $3 trillion the president and other prominent progressives sought. Ocasio Cortez took aim at Manchin as she addressed the scaled-back bill to answer a question from one her Instagram fans.
Ocasio Cortez stated that he believes there is more chance than ever to get the pressure on Biden to cancel student loans, given the amount of BBB funding. He doesn't need Manchin to do that, and now that his agenda has been sliced thinly, he must step up executive action and demonstrate his commitment to people. This must be done.
BIDEN REDUCTION FRAMEWORK COSTS 1.75T. INCLUDES $1.995 TRILLION TAX HIKES. WHITE HOUSE SAYS
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic-NY representative, speaks at a news conference discussing legislation that would increase Social Security benefits on Capitol Hill Oct. 26, 20,21. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/Getty Images
During negotiations for the spending bill, Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, a moderate senator, were key stumbling blocks. Both senators refused to pay it. Many progressive-backed climate initiatives and social programs were cut or trimmed from the bill.
Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a key holdout vote for President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda, speaks with reporters at Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, October 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik / AP Newsroom)
Ocasio-Cortez has criticized Manchin often during negotiations, accusing West Virginia senator in September having "weekly meetings" with lobbyists from the fossil fuel industry. Manchin refuted the allegation.
The President Biden talks about his domestic agenda in the East Room at the White House in Washington on Thursday, October 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh / AP Newsroom).
Sinema and Manchin both expressed support for the framework agreement. However, they have not yet officially endorsed the legislation. After progressives stated that they would only vote in favor of both pieces of legislation, the House had to postpone a vote on the Senate bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Ocasio-Cortez, along with several other Democrats, including Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer, have been urging Biden to cancel student loans by executive order for months. Biden and others have doubted his authority to issue such an executive order.