Washington — President Biden said he’s “taking a closer look” at the forgiveness of some federal student loan debt Thursday, but the amount he’s considering is less than $50,000 per borrower, less than some top Democrats have been seeking since taking office.
“I’m thinking about dealing with some debt reduction,” Mr. Biden said in response to a question at the White House. “I’m not considering a $50,000 debt reduction. But I’m going to take a closer look at whether or not there will be additional debt relief.”
The president said he will have an answer on additional debt forgiveness in the “next two weeks.”
Mr. Biden’s comments came days after he gave him one of the strongest signals yet that he isDuring a meeting with the Hispanic congressional bloc on Monday.
Representative Tony Cardenas of California, who attended the meeting, said the president never mentioned a specific amount he was looking to cancel, but said he’s open to debt forgiveness for borrowers regardless of whether they attended private or public institutions. When the legislator reiterated that the pool supported canceling $10,000 of student loan debt, the president said, “You’ll like what I do,” according to Cardenas.
In response to the president’s meeting on Monday, some Republican lawmakers have criticized Biden for considering waiving student loan debt. Senator Mitt Romney of Utah chirp that “desperate polls are calling for desperate action,” and sarcastically suggested that Biden was trying to “bribe” voters.
During his presidential campaign, Biden said he would cancel $10,000 of student loan debt and called on Congress to take action. Related epidemic has extendedSeveral times, most recently until August 31. The White House previously raised concerns that widespread cancellation of federal student debt could face legal challenges if done through executive action, and the president last year asked his team to evaluate his legal options.
Pressure is mounting on Biden to act as the midterm elections approach. Some Democrats, such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, have repeated their calls for the president to cancel $50,000 of student loan debt, an amount that appears to be off the table at the moment.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the decision to cancel student loan debt will be made between now and August 31, when loan repayments will resume. SomeExtending the pandemic-era pause, which saves about 41 million borrowers an estimated $5 billion per month in student loan interest payments. The pause is preset to expire at the beginning of May.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education has made some changes to existing loan forgiveness programs. Since taking office, the Biden administration has ceded more than $17 billion in student loan debt, including to borrowers who have been defrauded by their schools, those with permanent disabilities and those with income-driven repayment plans or the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.