Biden May Extend Pause On Student Loan Payments Again: Top Aide
President Joe Biden is considering extending the pause on federal student loan payments past its current May 1 deadline, according to White House chief of staff Ron Klain.
“The president is going to look at what we should do on student debt before the pause expires, or he’ll extend the pause,” Klain told the podcast Pod Save America in an interview that went up on Thursday.
Klain said the administration would make a decision about using executive action to cancel any amount of student debt per borrower “before the payments resume.”
Around 40 million Americans hold a told of $1.7 trillion in student loan debt, according to Politico.
Democratic lawmakers have been urging the president to cancel student debt, with dozens of members of Congress writing to the president earlier this year saying he should use his executive powers to eliminate $50,000 in student debt per borrower.
Student loan payments were paused in March 2020 as part of the pandemic-related CARES Act, and were extended by both the Trump and Biden administrations.
Lawmakers have criticized the Biden administration because the Department of Education has not released a memo — which it reportedly has had since April 2021 — detailing the president’s legal authority to cancel federal student loan debt.
Biden previously indicated that he was “unlikely” to eliminate $50,000 in student loan debt per person. During his presidential campaign, he said he supported passing legislation forgiving $10,000 of debt per person.
Widespread loan forgiveness would make a significant dent in the racial wealth gap, as Black undergraduates are more likely than any other racial group to have to borrow money to pay for college — and Black students graduate with the greatest student loan debt of any group, according to a 2019 report from the American Council on Education.