Biden's campaign made 2 promises on canceling student debt. He hasn't done either.
Bidenmade campaign promises to cancel $10,000 in student debtper person and forgive debt for students from HBCUs and public colleges.
- As president, he has not yet followed through on either promise.
- The DOE has already canceled debt for defrauded borrowers and borrowers with disabilities.
So far, President Joe Biden's Department of Education has acted to address the $1.7 trillion student debt crisis in the country by, among other things, canceling debt for some borrowers defrauded by for-profit schools and for borrowers with disabilities.
On his first day in office, Biden's first action addressing student debt was to extend the pause on federal student loan payments through September. Since then, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona has taken three distinct steps to confront student debt: he canceled debt for about 72,000 borrowers defrauded by for-profit schools, he canceled debt for over 41,000 borrowers with disabilities, and most recently, he expanded the scope of the payment pause to 1.14 million borrowers with private loans.But as president, Biden has yet to follow through on two campaign promises he made to voters on cancelling student debt. The more than 81 million people who voted for him also voted for two promised actions on student-debt relief that haven't been enacted yet, if they ever will be.
Here's what Biden said on the campaign trail about how he'd tackle the student-debt crisis:
Cancel $10,000 in student debt per personDuring his campaign, Biden promised to immediately cancel $10,000 in student debt per person. In a speech on November 16, Biden said that student loans are holding borrowers up, and forgiving $10,000 in student debt "should be done immediately."
Biden's campaign website said the president would work with Democrats to "authorize up to $10,000 in student debt relief per borrower" as part of COVID-19 relief, but the $1.9 trillion stimulus package he signed in March didn't include that. He also said he would support legislation brought to him to cancel $10,000 in student debt, but Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said in a press call last month that doing so is lengthy and expensive, and while she has legislation to do it, there's no reason Biden can't use
Biden has since asked the Justice Department and the Education Department to review his authority to use executive action to cancel student debt, indicating he may act on this promise. He may go even further, as White House Press Secretary said in early April that the $50,000 cancelation figure hasn't been ruled out. But nearly three months into his presidency, he hasn't acted on this yet.
Cancel debt for undergraduates from public colleges and HBCUs
Another plan Biden had to address student debt during his campaign was to forgive all undergraduate tuition-related federal
This plan was modeled after Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington's College for All Act, introduced in 2017, which would make public colleges and universities tuition-free and reduces student debt.
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