Student loan forgiveness: Don’t expect $50,000 relief, says Biden

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(NEXSTAR) – Wiping off $50,000 of federal student loan debt by executive order appears to be off the table as President Joe Biden continues to assess some sort of debt relief amid mounting pressure from his fellow Democrats.

In an interview with reporters on Thursday, President Biden was asked about using executive power to write off student loan debt. He responded by saying he was “not considering a $50,000 debt reduction.”

Forgiveness of $50,000 in student loan debt is one of the most significant student loan forgiveness proposals suggested by lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

It’s not necessarily a surprise that Biden isn’t considering $50,000 per borrower — during the campaign trail, Biden backed a much smaller plan of up to $10,000 rebate per borrower.

Under the Biden administration, about $17 billion in federal student loan debt was canceled for some 725,000 borrowers. On Thursday, the Ministry of Education announced An additional $238 million in student loan relief for about 28,000 borrowers defrauded by Marinello beauty schools.

While that may sound like a lot, this total $17 billion relief is actually about 1% of the $1.6 trillion in federal student debt that Americans have. Pressure continues to grow for more debt cancellation as the end of the moratorium on payments – which is due to expire on August 31 – and the midterm elections approach.

In a private meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus earlier this week, Biden reportedly “gave strong indications” that his administration is prepare to take executive action on the cancellation of student loans in the coming months. He backed that statement on Thursday, saying he was “planning to face debt reduction.”

“There will be additional debt forgiveness, and I will have a response on that in the next few weeks,” Biden said. told reporters.

There has been confusion over Biden’s power to cancel student loans. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said he lacks legal authority, remarking instead that it “would be an act of Congress”. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, meanwhile, argued Biden could do so under the same legal provision Trump used to delay payments and interest accrual early in the pandemic, The Hill Reports.

According to The hillBiden requested a memo from the Department of Education on his authority to cancel student debt through an executive order a year ago, but the administration has not announced whether that memo is complete.

Republicans introduced legislation to not only limit Biden’s power to extend a payment moratorium, but “prohibit the president from canceling outstanding federal student loan obligations due to a national emergency.”

“The majority of Americans don’t have a college degree,” Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) said in a Press release regarding legislation, called the Stop Reckless Student Loan Actions Act. “Why should they be forced to foot the bill for college degrees in the name of pandemic relief? This wealth transfer is not a move to “advance fairness”, but rather a taxpayer handout to appease far-left activists.

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