- The Washington Times - Monday, June 24, 2019

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez helped Sen. Bernard Sanders introduce a bill Monday that would forgive all student loan debt, which the lawmaker said is a scourge to working-class citizens.

“We are experiencing a systemic and economy-wide threat to grinding our economy to a halt because families and people in my generation, older and younger, are not buying cars we’re not purchasing homes, we’re not building families because of the scepter that student loan debt represents on our generation. It is unjust,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat, said as she joined Mr. Sanders for a press conference at the Capitol to announce the bill.

“I have student loans, too,” she said. “And I think it’s so funny — a year ago I was waiting tables in a restaurant, and it was literally easier for me to become the youngest woman in American history elected to Congress than it is to pay off my student loan debt. That should tell you everything about the state of our economy and the state of quality of life for working people.

“In order for me to get a chance to have health care, in order for me to get a chance to pay off my student loans, I had to do something that was nearly impossible, and I don’t think that that is the bar through which a person should be able to access education,” she said.

Mr. Sanders, who is among the leading contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, proposes to wipe out the nation’s entire $1.6 trillion student debt with taxes on Wall Street trades in stocks and bonds, The Washington Post reported Sunday night.

The Sanders campaign says this tax will raise $2 trillion in 10 years.

Victor Morton contributed to this story.

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