Biden says he’s taking a ‘close look’ at student loan forgiveness 2022-04-28 14:50:14


President Biden said Thursday that he is considering canceling some student loan debt and will make a final decision “in the coming weeks.”

“I’m considering dealing with some debt relief,” Biden said after a speech in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.

The comments were the clearest indication yet from Mr Biden that he might Keeps his promise to cancel at least some debts For student loan borrowers. During the campaign in 2020, he said he would “make sure everyone in this generation gets $10,000 in student debt.”

The White House has come under heavy pressure to provide relief through executive action, and Mr Biden this month extended a pause on loan payments for the fourth time. But the president has made clear that his decision will disappoint at least some Democrats and progressive advocates who argue that widespread repeal is necessary to address economic and racial disparities and wants him to spend $50,000 or more per borrower.

“I’m not thinking about reducing debt by $50,000,” Biden said. But he added that he was “taking a closer look” at debt forgiveness.

“I’ll get an answer on that in the next two weeks,” he said.

The timeline comes after Biden discussed the issue with Hispanic lawmakers this week in a closed-door meeting at the White House. Representative Tony Cardenas, D-Calif., said Mr. Biden indicated he was open to debt forgiveness when asked if he would honor his $10,000 promise. In a statement, Mr. Cardenas said he was pleased to see Mr. Biden confirm this position.

“The burden of debt is depriving many Americans of financial stability, buying homes, starting families, and building their futures,” Cardenas said. “Debt relief for millions of Americans is the right thing to do.”

Prior to that meeting, the White House said throughout the year that it would prefer Congress to deal with student loan forgiveness through legislation. But Senate Democrats lack the votes to help deliver on Mr. Biden’s campaign promise, leaving executive action as the only course.

The president has in the past expressed concern that forgiving $50,000 might amount to a grant to well-off college graduates, a position that has led to opposition from advocacy groups.

“President Biden, we agree that we should not cancel $50,000 of student loan debt. We should cancel it all,” said Wisdom Cole, national director of the Youth and Colleges Division of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a civil rights organization. Only the bare minimum. For the black community, accumulated in debt through generations of oppression, anything less is unacceptable.”

Republican lawmakers are vehemently opposed to this idea. Senator John Thune of South Dakota, the second-highest Republican, introduced a bill on Wednesday that would prevent Biden from canceling student debt through executive action and end a payment halt that began in March 2020.

“Any future suspension of federal student loan payments should be left to Congress, not the Biden administration,” Mr. Thun said.

Even extending the pause period to pay him It sparked some criticism from economists Those who say it will add to the fastest growing inflation in 40 years. Pausing payments gives consumers more money in their pockets to buy goods during a period of constrained supply chains, resulting in price hikes that have frustrated Americans.

Pressure from Mr. Biden’s supporters to act on student loans has only increased during the payment halt, as the Education Department faces logistical challenges to restart the payment collection system and fix long-running administrative failures in its repayment and relief programs.

Under Mr. Biden, the department made partial reforms that eliminated $18.5 billion in debt on 750,000 borrowers. The latest such effort came on Thursday, when it announced that it would do so Cancellation of loans of 28,000 borrowers who attended Marinello Beauty Schools, a cosmetics chain that collapsed in 2016.

Miguel A. said: Cardona, Minister of Education, “Marinello has exploited students who dreamed of jobs in the beauty industry, misled them about the quality of their programs, and left them buried in unsustainable debts they could not pay.”

The department said Marinello had engaged in “widespread and widespread” misconduct, including failing to properly train its students and leaving them without instructors for periods that sometimes lasted months. Those who attended schools from 2009 onwards will be forgiven for their federal loans, totaling $238 million, through a program known as Borrower’s defense of repayment.

In a departure from its usual practice, the department said it would automatically forgive the debts of all borrowers who attended Marinello during that period, even if they had not already submitted a claim through the borrower’s defense system.

The Department of Education is struggling to overhaul its borrower defense program, which has become the subject of lawsuits after effectively out of date for most of the Trump administration — and then Causing a flood of rejection notices.

Tens of thousands of borrowers are still waiting for decisions on their claims, some of which were filed six years ago. About 200,000 applicants — including 130,000 rejected by then-education secretary Betsy DeVos, in the final year of the Trump administration — are part of the class action Scheduled for trial this summer. The federal judge overseeing the case called DeVos’ denial “disturbing about Kafka.”

Another group of applicants sued the Department of Education on Monday over their long-unresolved claims. who – which lawsuitwhich was filed in federal court in Boston, is seeking relief for borrowers who attended Kaplan Vocational Institute, a suspended school whose parent company paid $1.3 million in 2015 to settle fraud charges filed by Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healy.

In 2016 Ms. Healy asked the Department of Education to waive the school’s former student debt, but that claim has been held back ever since.

One of three groups representing borrowers in the case, said Keira Taylor, an attorney with the National Center for Consumer Law. “Enough is enough.”