Sanders said in the statement that higher education should be a "right for all."
"If we are going to have the kind of standard of living that the American people deserve, we need to have the best educated workforce in the world," he said. "It is absolutely unacceptable that hundreds of thousands of bright young Americans do not get a higher education each year, not because they are unqualified, but because their family does not have enough money."
Jayapal said families shouldn't have to take out "crushing loans" to receive a higher education.
"The College for All Act will free students from a lifetime of debt, invest in working people, and transform higher education across America," she said.
But other lawmakers, including many Democrats, have said free college for most would be too costly, NPR reports.
Republicans have in the past shown resistance to the idea of free college and student debt relief.
"Free college may sound nice, but the outcomes would be anything but nice," Besty DeVos, former U.S. Education Secretary under former President Donald Trump, said during a campaign appearance in 2020, according to Inside Higher Ed. "Think about it. Only a third of Americans pursue four-year college degrees. Why should two-thirds pay for the other one-third?"
During a Senate Banking Committee hearing this month, Sen. John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican, questioned why the government would cancel student loan debt but not other debts, such as mortgages or credit card debt, CBS News reports.
And Rep. Byron Donalds, a Florida Republican, called the idea a ploy to keep Democrats in power by "hoodwinking the American people into thinking their debt won't impose a cost on society," according to CBS.
A Pew Research poll conducted in early 2020 found 63% of American adults support making tuition free at public colleges and universities while 36% oppose it.