Biden Says He Will Not Forgive $50k of Student Debt After All
21:27 GMT 28.04.2022 (Updated: 21:28 GMT 28.04.2022)
Forty-three million Americans collectively hold $1.6 trillion in student loan debt, with the average borrower owing $39,351. A staggering 2.6 million borrowers owe more than $100,000 in student loans.
Contrary to reports and indications from fellow Democrats that President Biden was considering forgiving $50,000 in student debt or even erase it entirely, Biden has stated emphatically that is not the case.
Speaking at an event promoting the latest round of billions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine, President Biden took questions from reporters and the subject of student loan debt was raised.
“I am considering dealing with some debt reduction,” Biden said. “I am not considering $50,000 debt reduction. but I’m in the process of taking a hard look at whether or not there will be additional debt forgiveness.”
Student loan debt surpasses both credit card debt and auto debt in America.
In March 2020, the Trump administration issued a moratorium on student loan repayments in an effort to help borrowers who were struggling to make payments due to pandemic lockdowns. The moratorium, which also brought interest rates down to 0%, has been extended multiple times by the Biden administration. It has cost the government $5 billion a month.
27 April, 20:21 GMT
Biden is being pressured by members of his own party to act on student loan debt. During the campaign, he promised to immediately eliminate the first $10,000 of student debt for each debtor. It seemed that progress was being made earlier this week when White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said that the president would make a decision on student loan forgiveness before the current moratorium ends on August 31.
That optimism was amplified when Biden spoke to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus later that day and Biden reportedly told them that “You're going to like what I do on [student loan debt.] I'm looking to do something on that and I think you're going to like what I do.”
Later in the day, NY senator and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who has pushed for $50,000 in debt forgiveness, told the Washington Post that “I think the president is moving in our direction,” but Biden’s recent comments seem to contradict that, or at least indicate that he will not be moving all the way to Schumer’s position.
Meanwhile, Republicans have introduced a largely ceremonial bill aimed at ending the moratorium and preventing Biden from canceling student debt. The bill would need support from Democrats to pass and Republicans managed to find some defectors, but Biden would likely veto the bill. Getting a 2/3rd majority to override that veto is a virtual impossibility, at least until after the midterms.