Biden is reportedly delaying his broad student-loan forgiveness announcement until late summer — closer to when debt payments are set to resume
- Biden is holding off on announcing student-loan forgiveness until later in the summer, per WSJ.
- It will likely be closer to when student-loan payments are set to resume on September 1.
President Joe Biden told federal student-loan borrowers in April they would be hearing of relief in the "next couple of weeks." His timeline for that announcement appears to be pushed back.
On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Biden is likely to announce broad student-loan forgiveness in July or August, closer to when student-loan payments are set to resume on September 1, according to administration officials familiar with the matter. While the president previously said a decision would be made sooner, the Journal reported that Biden is continuing to assess the economic and political impact of broad student-loan relief — an issue that is becoming increasingly divisive among Democrats and Republicans.
"The administration is continuing to assess options for cancellation and no decision has been made," a White House official told the Journal.
According to the most recent reports, Biden is considering $10,000 in relief for federal borrowers making under $150,000 a year. That's an amount Biden pledged on the campaign trail, but since then, many Democratic lawmakers have been urging him to go bigger on relief, without any income thresholds.
"Canceling all student debt is not a radical idea," Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders wrote on Twitter in April. "Saddling 46 million Americans with $1.8 trillion in debt for the 'crime' of pursuing an education — now that's a radical idea."
Insider previously reported on the administrative burden placing an income cap on debt relief would bring, which is why Democratic lawmakers and advocates are hoping the forgiveness will be broad, and not targeted. And lawmakers like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren have also emphasized the electoral benefits of canceling student debt, given Biden won votes on that issue.
"One of the hardest things for an elected official to do is demonstrate to people that they can count on that elected official to be on their side," Warren previously told The Atlantic. "Canceling student-loan debt for more than 40 million Americans would persuade a lot of young people that this president is in the fight for them."
A recent poll from the Student Borrower Protection Center and Data for Progress found 71% of likely voters aged 18-34 support student-debt cancellation, and 66% of them with no student debt still support relief.
But some Republican lawmakers have slammed the idea of canceling student debt to win votes. GOP Sen. Tom Cotton, for example, recently wrote that broad loan forgiveness "is nothing more than a bribe from Biden to his base."
—Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) June 1, 2022
Still, no decision has been made, and Biden's administration has made clear borrowers should still plan to resume payments after August 31, regardless of any relief that is to come. And as Biden is assessing the potential consequences of broad relief, some of his officials have indicated it "could be good for the economy" and have a "quite small" impact on inflation.
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