Congressman Clyburn to Host Student Loan Debt Relief Town Hall Meeting with Special Guest Senator Elizabeth Warren

Dec 11, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 27, 2019

(Columbia, S.C.) – U.S. Congressman James E. Clyburn (D-SC) will host a town hall with special guest, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), to discuss their legislation, the Student Loan Debt Relief Act.

The town hall will take place on Tuesday, September 3 at the Dr. Barbara A. Vaughan Fine Arts Center Recital Hall, 311 Buckley Street on the campus of South Carolina State University in Orangeburg. The free event is open to students and the public. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. and the program begins at 6:00 p.m.

Clyburn and Warren announced earlier this year that they are teaming up to introduce legislation that would eliminate up to $50,000 in student loan debt for 42 million Americans—providing debt relief to 95% of student borrowers, including cancelling student debt entirely for 75% of borrowers.

According to Clyburn and Warren, the Student Loan Debt Relief Act would end the student debt crisis, help millions of struggling families obtain financial stability, and would also take meaningful steps to begin to close the racial wealth gap.

The student loan debt crisis is particularly burdensome to those in South Carolina because student loan debt has increased by 315 percent in the state over the last decade. Today, the average student loan debt in South Carolina is $36,552.

“Crushing student debt has reached crisis levels in America requiring big, bold solutions,” Clyburn said. “Post-secondary education should be the springboard to enable students to achieve their dreams not the impediment that prevents the realization of those goals.”

Outstanding student loans now total nearly $1.5 trillion in the U.S., more than triple the debt young people held thirty years ago. Almost 45 million Americans have student loan debt, and nearly 7.2 million are in default on those loans, as they face stagnant wages and rising costs of living. 

“My very first bill when I got to the Senate was legislation to tackle the growing student debt crisis because I was sick of Washington allowing the wealthy to pay less, while burying tens of millions of Americans in mountains of student loan debt. Since then, Washington has only allowed this crisis to get worse—especially for people of color. Enough is enough.” said Senator Warren.

Black and Latinx Americans face the worst effects of the student debt crisis—with many Black borrowers still owing more than 100 percent of their loan balance 12 years after college, even with a degree in hand.

Congressman Clyburn chose South Carolina State University for the site of this Town Hall, not only because it’s his alma mater, but the sixth Congressional District is also home to seven of South Carolina’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities. 90 percent of these students receive some form of tuition assistance and therefore often graduate with large amounts of student debt.

An independent economic analysis found that this legislation would substantially reduce both the Black-White and Latinx-White wealth gaps while increasing wealth for Black and Latinx families.

Black families with student loan debt would see their wealth grow by about $15,700 and Latinx families would see their wealth grow by over $27,000.

“I believe very strongly that by forbidding this cancer to continue to grow on the lives of our young people, we prevent the burden from being passed on to future generations,” Clyburn said.

Register online for the Town Hall at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/student-debt-relief-act-town-hall-tickets-69761908747