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Warren, Schumer, Pressley urge for student debt forgiveness

Yahoo Finance's Jessica Smith joins Kristin Myers to break down the latest out of DC on stimulus and student loan forgiveness.

Video Transcript

KRISTIN MYERS: Welcome back to Yahoo Finance Live. I want to turn now to our chief political correspondent Jessica Smith because we have some new news out of DC just a few moments ago. Jess, update us on everything that's been going on.

JESSICA SMITH: Yeah, in just the past few minutes, we heard that the House impeachment managers wrote a letter to President Trump, saying that they want him to testify under oath at some point next week, either before or during his impeachment trial. They say that he has denied factual allegations that are in the article of impeachment. So therefore they want him to testify, and they want to be able to cross-examine him. They say this could happen as early as Monday or as late as next Thursday. They say they do want an answer from him by end of day tomorrow. Kristin.

KRISTIN MYERS: I mean, yikes. Who needs TV when real news like this is going on? OK, so that's not all that's been happening out of Washington. I know there's a lot of news going on with student loans, with stimulus. Let's start with student loans. What's happening there?

JESSICA SMITH: Yeah, a group of Democratic lawmakers today, including Senators Schumer and Warren, Congresswomen Omar and Pressley, and dozens of other Democrats are calling on President Biden to use executive action to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student debt for each person. They say this will help the economy. It will help get the economy back on track by allowing people to start small businesses, buy homes, spend more money. The lawmakers also say this will start to narrow the racial wealth gap. Let's watch.

- These disparities didn't just magically occur. They are the consequences of generations of systemic racism, discrimination, and what I call policy violence that has systemically denied Black and LatinX families the opportunity to build wealth, forcing our families to take on greater rates of student debt for the chance at the same degree as our white counterparts.

JESSICA SMITH: And White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki did talk about this at the briefing today. She says that President Biden supports canceling up to $10,000 per person, but he wants to do that through legislation. He says that if Congress puts that bill on his desk, he would sign it, again, up to $10,000 per person. When a reporter followed up and asked if he would do it through executive action, she pointed to something he has already done, pausing student loan payments until this fall, and said she thinks it's up to Congress to take the next steps, Kristin.

KRISTIN MYERS: All right, well, speaking about Congress on voting, we have something coming up in about an hour, which is Vote-a-rama. I know some folks might not even know what that is. So give us all of the details on that. And I know stimulus is also wrapped up in this.

JESSICA SMITH: Right, this is part of the Budget Reconciliation process, which would allow Democrats to potentially push President Biden's stimulus package through without any Republican support. But to do this, they have to go through a Vote-a-rama. This is part of passing that budget resolution. First, the Senate can vote on a slew of different amendments before they can actually vote on the actual resolution. So today, they'll vote on probably dozens of amendments. There are hundreds ready, but they'll probably get to dozens of them. It could go early into the morning.

And Republicans are going to put Democrats in tough political positions. They're going to force them to vote on controversial issues that maybe they'll use later on in the campaigns. Some of the issues Republicans say they're going to bring up are stimulus checks for undocumented immigrants, also tax hikes, and then giving federal funding to schools who have not-- that have not reopened yet. So some of these more controversial issues that will put Republicans in a tough spot politically. But once they get through this process, then they can actually pass the resolution, which is the vehicle to pass the relief bill.

KRISTIN MYERS: All right, and that Vote-a-rama starting at 2:30 PM. As you mentioned, could go early into the morning tomorrow. I do not envy any of those senators that have to work all night. Yahoo Finance's Jessica Smith with all of those updates, thanks so much.