Biden confirms he's nearing a decision on student-loan forgiveness and says a payment pause extension is 'on the table'

·3 min read
  • Biden confirmed to reporters he is nearing a decision on student-loan forgiveness.

  • He also said another student-loan payment pause extension is "on the table."

  • Biden is likely to announce relief in July or August, closer to when payments are set to resume.

President Joe Biden confirmed a decision that will impact millions of student-loan borrowers is on the horizon.

While walking along the water in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, on Monday, Biden took a few minutes to chat with the press on topics ranging from collective bargaining to gas rebate cards. He also acknowledged his long awaited student-loan forgiveness announcement. Recent reports have suggested Biden is considering $10,000 in relief for borrowers making under $150,000 a year, and while the White House has not publicly confirmed any plans, Biden told reporters that "yes," he is close to making that announcement.

A reporter also asked the president if he is considering another extension of the student-loan payment pause, currently set to expire after August 31.

"It's all on the table right now," Biden responded.

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The Wall Street Journal recently reported Biden is planning to announce student-loan relief in July or August, closer to when student-loan payments are set to resume. This came after Biden told reporters in April that a decision on loan forgiveness would be made "in the next couple of weeks." Since then, advocates and many Democratic lawmakers have been pushing the president to use this time to go big on relief, rather than stick with the $10,000 amount, which he pledged on the campaign trail.

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, for example, previously said Democrats "can do better" than $10,000 in debt cancellation, and she wrote on her Instagram story last weekend that "there are policies where a halfway approach is kind of a waste as it's not much better than nothing, and resources are better spent elsewhere. We push so that people can actually experience the benefits of a policy," referring to student-loan forgiveness.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has been advocating for $50,000 in relief, told The Philadelphia Inquirer that amount "was a number to get the most relief to the most people." Biden said in April that he is not considering $50,000 in relief, but Democrats like Warren have still continued to push for a larger amount.

Meanwhile, many Republican lawmakers have slammed the idea of broad student-loan relief, arguing it will hurt the economy and cost taxpayers. Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike have asked Education Secretary Miguel Cardona for information on how prepared the Education Department is to carry out forgiveness once it's implemented.

"You said you are ready to act on student loan forgiveness, but you can only be ready if you know the plan; therefore, please describe, what is this plan?" Top Republican on the House education committee Virginia Foxx wrote to Cardona.

Cardona said a few weeks ago he is "ready to roll" with whatever Biden decides, but he noted last month that "at some point, people are going to have to start paying what they can afford to pay."

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