As part of his presidential campaign, President Joe Biden pledged to cancel $10,000 in student debt per borrower.
But some Democrats, led by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, want him to cancel $50,000 in student debt per borrower through executive action — something the president was not certain he had the authority to do.
Psaki said in February that Biden would ask the Justice Department to review his authority to use executive action to cancel student debt, but it’s unclear when that review began.
Still No Update
Consider having your student debt forgiven. President Joe Biden campaigned on it, promising that if elected, he would “immediately” wipe out thousands of dollars in debt for every borrower.
However, six months later, the White House is still reviewing the legality of doing so.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that there has been no update on those investigations on Monday. It’s been more than six months.
“I don’t have any other update,” Psaki said during the press briefing. “I would say that, obviously, lowering the cost of college or relieving student debt is a priority to this President and this Vice President.”
In April, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain told Politico that Biden had also asked Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to draft a memo outlining the president’s legal authority to forgive $50,000 in student loan debt per person. He stated that Biden will “look at that legal authority.”
“He’ll look at the policy issues around that, and he’ll make a decision,” Klain said. “He hasn’t made a decision on that either way, and, in fact, he hasn’t yet gotten the memos that he needs to start to focus on that decision.”
However, Psaki did not comment on the delay in releasing those memos on Monday, and she stated that if Congress passes a bill canceling $10,000 in student debt per borrower, Biden would be “happy to sign it.”
Payment Pause Lifts
“We have a lot on our plate, including moving to infrastructure and all kinds of other things,” Warren said. “I have legislation to do it, but to me, that’s just not a reason to hold off. The president can do this, and I very much hope that he will.”
When the payment pause ends in February, millions of Americans will have to resume paying off their collective $1.7 trillion student debt burden.
“Ultimately, the student loan system is broken,” Warren said.
Following the announcement by Navient, a third major student-loan company, that it would be shutting down its services, Warren told Insider that the best thing that could happen for borrowers before payments resume is widespread student-debt cancellation.
“The only way to guarantee that borrowers do not face the same predatory behavior from Navient’s replacement is to cancel student debt, so that no borrower’s future is held hostage by corporations profiting off their financial distress.”
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