28th April, 2022
U.S. President Joe Biden said on Thursday that he is looking at reducing student loan burdens, but said any such plan would not forgive $50,000 in debt.
Biden said he would discuss his plans for student loan reduction in the next few weeks.
Hints about the move was first dropped by a lawmaker on Wednesday, after discussions with the President.
The move would be a boon to many of the 43 million Americans carrying student loans worth $1.6 trillion, according to federal figures.
It would also be a win for Democratic and progressive leaders who have long pressed Biden to carry through on a 2020 campaign promise that as president he would “immediately” cancel up to $10,000 in debt per student.
Biden’s remarks came during a wide-ranging Monday meeting at the White House with seven members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, according to Rep. Tony Cardenas, D-Calif., who was among them.
He said in an interview Wednesday that he asked Biden to extend the moratorium on debt payments through this year, instead of letting it expire Aug. 31.
“He immediately smiled and said, “I’ve extended in the past, and you’re going to like what I do next,’” Cardenas said.
“So I said, ‘Okay, wonderful. Next question.’”
Cardenas said he then asked about forgiving at least $10,000 in debt for each student, which he said the caucus believes Biden can do using executive powers. That would preclude the need for legislation from Congress, where there is Republican opposition.
“He said, ‘Yes, I’m exploring doing something on that front,’” said Cardenas.
“And he also smiled and said, ‘You’re going to like what I do on that as well.’”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., sounded a similar note of optimism Wednesday. “I think the president is moving in our direction. My talks with him and his staff have been very fruitful over the last little while,” Schumer said.