WASHINGTON, D.C. — Members of the Future Forum Caucus, led by Chairman Darren Soto (FL-09), Vice-Chair Colin Allred (TX-32), Vice-Chair Haley Stevens (MI-11) and Chair Emeritus Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), sent a letter to House and Senate leaders urging them to include provisions that address the student loan crisis and economic impact payment eligibility in the next COVID-19 relief package.
“Nearly 45 million Americans collectively owe $1.59 trillion in student loans, which is the second-largest type of consumer debt behind mortgages,” wrote the members. “The burden of making these payments stresses the budgets of young adults and delays decisions like buying a home or getting married.”
Future Forum Chair, U.S. Rep. Darren Soto (FL-09), believes that this issue affects all Americans — not just those who are struggling with student debt.
“The burden felt by America’s youth should weigh heavily on all of us,” said Soto. “It is our responsibility to provide future generations with the tools they need to pursue the American dream.”
Members also highlighted the importance of economic impact payments, or stimulus checks, defining the term “qualifying dependent” more broadly than the CARES Act— which included a narrower definition than typically used by the Internal Revenue Code and excluded taxpayers from receiving a $500 payment for 17-year-olds, 18-year-olds, students under the age of 24 and permanently disabled dependent children of any age.
U.S. Rep. Angie Craig (MN-02), who championed legislation last session that became the basis for the definition of dependent in the Heroes Act and CASH Act, expressed the importance of including these measures.
“Previous COVID relief packages signed into law left countless hardworking Minnesota families with dependents without the financial support they deserved,” said Craig. “These families simply cannot be left out of future packages. I encourage and fully expect Congressional leadership to address this issue in the upcoming relief package, which will help to rectify the shortcomings of past bills and extend a lifeline to struggling families across the country.”
The letter was signed by 19 members including Chairman Soto (FL-09), Vice-Chair Colin Allred (TX-32), Vice-Chair Haley Stevens (MI-11), Chair Emeritus Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Rep. Brendan F. Boyle (PA-02), Rep. Angie Craig (MN-02), Rep. Sharice L. Davids (KS-03), Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Rep. Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Rep. Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Rep. Andy Kim (NJ-03), Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Rep. Grace Meng (NY-06), Rep. Katie Porter (CA-45), Rep. Michael F.Q. San Nicolas (GU), Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Rep. Lori Trahan (MA-03) and Rep. Lauren Underwood (IL-14).
Click here to view the full text of the letter.