Canceling Student Loan Debt | Weekly Update Feb 1–5, 2021

Dear friend,

As we begin Black History Month, I want to take a moment to reflect on how grateful I am to have incredible Black leaders in our community. So many leaders go unrecognized and I hope in the coming weeks I can share some of their stories with you. If you have any stories you want to share with me, please contact my office at (612) 333–1272.

Often, the work you’re most excited about is not what grabs the headlines in Washington. This week, I wanted to share some of the big pushes I had the opportunity to lead on — from student debt to coronavirus relief to addressing the climate crisis.

I promise to keep fighting for a relief package that prioritizes the needs of our district including monthly recurring checks, expanded unemployment benefits, aid for schools to safely reopen, and funds to deliver vaccines as quickly as possible.

Canceling Student Loan Debt

Yesterday, I joined my colleagues to reintroduce our bicameral resolution outlining a bold plan for President Biden to tackle the student loan debt crisis by using existing authority under the Higher Education Act to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt for Federal student loan borrowers. You can watch my remarks here.

Calling on President Biden to Reject Line 3 Pipeline

Last weekend, I visited Northern Minnesota and met with indigenous leaders who are organizing to stop the Line 3 pipeline. Climate change does not stop at the border of a reservation or a state or a country — it impact us all. This week, I led a letter to President Biden urging him to stop the construction of this pipeline. You can watch my Facebook live video here and read my letter here.

Increasing the Number of Refugees Admitted in the United States

I am thrilled President Biden has taken needed action to increase the number of refugees allowed in the United States. As someone who came here as a refugee, I dreamed of one day coming to the United States — a country that promised peace and opportunity. I am hopeful many people living through unthinkable situations will now also be able to call the United States their home. You can read my release here.

Announcements

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program

The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs are offering free tax help. You can find more information here and a site near you here.

Minneapolis Foundation Calls for Racial and Economic Justice Proposals

The Minneapolis Foundation has issued a call for proposals that advance structural and systems change through policy advocacy, organizing, and movement building. The foundation will prioritize applications from groups that are led by Black, Indigenous, and people of color and those engaged in efforts that are grounded in the needs of diverse Minneapolis communities. You can learn more here.

Coffee and Kulan: Cannabis Legalization

On February 16th at 5:30pm CT, I’ll be hosting a “Coffee and Kulan” discussion on cannabis legalization with Rep. Barbara Lee and State Rep. Ryan Winkler live on Facebook.com/RepIlhan. I can’t wait to talk with you about our efforts in Congress and in Minnesota to legalize cannabis and implement restorative justice practices. You can see the event details here.

In service,

Ilhan Omar

Member of Congress

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