President Biden stated on Thursday he is considering forgiving particular student loan debt, after prolonging a freeze on loan payments on many occasions during the past year.
If we start forgiving student loans, where does it end? Bailing out giant wealthy banks??? Subsidizing the coal mining industry???
— Chris Mohney (@chrismohney) April 27, 2022
The president told journalists after delivering statements on Ukraine assistance.
“I am contemplating dealing with some debt relief. In the meantime, I am not contemplating a $50,000 debt reduction.”
“I am in the process of examining whether or not there will be extra debt forgiveness, and I should have a decision on that in the next couple of weeks.”
Biden announced earlier this month that the temporary freeze on national loan payments and interest accrual would be extended until the end of the month.
According to a Biden-signed extension issued in December, the freeze was slated to expire on May 1. The White House had been under pressure from almost 100 Democrats from both chambers to prolong it.
Loan payments were suspended for the first time in March 2020 under President Trump, and the suspension has since been extended five more times.
Over 40 million Americans were affected by Biden’s decision, which effectively stopped the accrual of interest on their federal student loans, preventing the accumulation of $1.6 trillion in debt.
Nonetheless, liberal legislators and activists have urged the White House to go even further and completely eliminate student loan debt for millions of Americans.
They argue doing so would be a significant relief for low and middle-income households and a means of advancing racial equality in the United States.
Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) stated he believed President Biden and the White House were “more open to it than they have ever been.”
Schumer has been lobbying for the forgiveness of up to $50,000 in student loan debt for Americans.
President Biden said he's considering ways to deal with reducing student debt burdens, but forgiving $50,000 in loans isn't in the cards. https://t.co/ZrG34gOEPt
— CNN (@CNN) April 28, 2022
Congress Adopting the Legislation
On numerous occasions, Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, has stated the administration is studying its capacity to erase particular student debt.
However, she repeatedly said Biden would be happy to sign legislation eliminating student debt if Congress adopts legislation to that effect.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Psaki stated the White House is still considering whether Biden should be allowed to unilaterally eliminate student loan debt.
She went on to say any cancellation might be subject to a means test, meaning that persons in the top income levels would not be eligible for full debt forgiveness.
In response to the president’s declaration on Thursday, the NAACP called on Biden to wipe off all student loan debt, despite the president’s assertion he would not even go close to $50,000.
In a release, Wisdom Cole, the national director of the NAACP’s Youth and College Division, stated “anything less is intolerable” for the black community, which has accrued debt over generations.