Headlines for December 23, 2021

This year Democracy Now! is celebrating our 25th anniversary—that’s 25 years of bringing you fearless, independent journalism. Since our first broadcast in 1996, Democracy Now! has refused to take corporate...

Headlines for December 13, 2021

This year Democracy Now! is celebrating our 25th anniversary—that’s 25 years of bringing you fearless, independent journalism. Since our first broadcast in 1996, Democracy Now! has refused to take corporate...

Historian Khalil Gibran Muhammad: Policing in U.S. Was Built on Racism & Should Be...

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The Quarantine Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Three weeks after the start of the trial, that was watched around the...

Black Visions Collective: We Need to Abolish the Police & End Militarized Occupations of...

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The Quarantine Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González. As we’ve reported, a jury in Minneapolis has convicted former police officer Derek Chauvin on three...

Pelosi Opposed Student Loan Cancellation After Billionaire Ally’s Memo

Racial Justice MLK’s Family and Civil Rights Leaders Call for Voting Rights March on Washington Environment & Health Democrats Propose Medicare for a Few More Instead of Demanding Medicare for All Politics & Elections GOP Lawmaker Suing Pelosi Over House Mask Rules Contracts COVID Politics & Elections Republicans Balk at Infrastructure Adding to Deficit After Opposing Pay-Fors Economy & Labor Predatory Banks at Walmarts Made Over 100 Percent of Profits From Overdraft Fees Economy & Labor COVID Relief Packages Dramatically Reduced Poverty. They Should Be Permanent. A memo uncovered by The Intercept shows that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) opposed supporting a push for President Joe Biden to cancel student loan debt after billionaire donors, with whom she has close ties, urged her to do so. Last week, Pelosi announced her opposition to a popular progressive proposal to cancel student loan debt, which advocates say could provide major relief to millions of borrowers and provide a huge boost to the COVID-burdened economy. “People think that the president of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness. He does not,” Pelosi said, adding that, though she believes Congress should be in charge of the proposal, she also thinks student debt relief is unfair. That opinion, which puts her at odds with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and surprised congressional insiders, comes after a powerful billionaire couple circulated a memo saying that the president does not have the power to cancel student debt. “Recently, there has been heightened fervor around Senators [Elizabeth] Warren and Schumer’s proposal that President-elect Joe Biden could cancel student debt ‘with the pen as opposed to legislation.’ Unfortunately, that cannot happen,” the November memo from Democratic megadonors Steven and Mary Swig read. Indeed, Schumer and Warren have been lobbying Biden to follow up on campaign promises and cancel student debt, which they say the president could do with an executive order. Despite Pelosi’s statement, many advocates and legal experts say that Biden has the authority to cancel student debt, and that time is of the essence to free up nearly $2 trillion worth of debt for borrowers to inject into the economy. Pelosi’s view aligns more with the Swigs’ memo than the views of her congressional colleagues, who have cited legal avenues for the president to cancel student debt. But this may be due to the fact that Pelosi evidently maintains a close relationship with the billionaire donors, who have previously lobbied her directly on issues, The Intercept reports. Pelosi not only keeps political ties to the Swigs, but also financial and professional ones as well. For years the couple has given her the maximum amount allowed under campaign finance law. Steven Swig has served as her campaign treasurer in reelection campaigns since 2012, and their niece worked for Pelosi between 2018 and March of this year. The Swigs hold huge sway within Democratic circles, according to The Intercept, donating millions of dollars to the Democratic Party over the years. But they’re described by political insiders as “an often well-meaning couple who have donated to worthy causes but are rendered almost comically out of touch by their extraordinary wealth,” write The Intercept’s Ryan Grim and Ken Klippenstein. They didn’t even know until recent years, for instance, that people even had student loans. Pelosi’s staff has denied that the Swig memo had influenced her view on the issue — the memo, after all, was supportive of the idea of canceling student debt in general, even if it says that Biden lacks the authority. However, student debt advocates are skeptical that Pelosi wasn’t influenced by the Swigs, especially since the House speaker’s statement shocked many on Capitol Hill. “The only reason she was for it [legislatively] was because Steve and Mary asked her to,” one student loan debt advocate who is familiar with discussions between the Swigs and Pelosi told The Intercept. Copyright © Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

“Heartbreaking”: Judge's Suspension of DACA Renews Push for Comprehensive Immigration Bill

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now! I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González, as we end today’s show looking at...

Archaeologists Discover That Ancient Israelites Used Marijuana To Worship God

Some smokers joke that marijuana is their religion, but new research shows ancient Israelites may have used cannabis as a ritual to access God. Researchers recently announced they discovered cannabis resin...

These Are The Top 10 Destinations In The World Right Now, Awarded By TripAdvisor...

Every year, TripAdvisor travelers vote on their favorite things around the world for our Travelers’ Choice Awards. We highlight the top picks in all things travel with categories such as destinations,...

What Are Clarke’s Laws?

Clarke's Laws are a series of three rules attributed to science fiction legend Arthur C. Clarke, intended to help define ways to consider claims about the future of scientific developments. These...

Guilty on All Counts: Derek Chauvin Verdict Triggers Relief & Determination to Keep Fighting

AMY GOODMAN: A jury in Minneapolis has convicted former police officer Derek Chauvin on all three counts for murdering George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nine minutes and 29...

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