- White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain has suggested the student loan payment break could be extended again.
- If not, Biden will “look at what we should do on student debt” before May, Klain told Pod Save America.
- Some supporters have argued that if Biden can extend the break, he can largely write off student debt.
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain suggested student loan borrowers could be on track for further relief before payments resume on May 1.
“The president is going to look at what we should do on student debt before the break expires, or he’ll extend the break,” Klain told Pod Save America on Thursday.
“Joe Biden is currently the only president in history where no one has paid his student loans during his entire presidency. And so the question of whether or not there is executive action on canceling student debt when payments resume is a decision we are going to make before payments resume,” Klain added.
—Pod Save America (@PodSaveAmerica) March 3, 2022
Student loan repayments have been suspended for nearly two years as part of pandemic relief. In December, Biden again extended the hiatus until May 1. Given the continued extensions of the student loan freeze, some lawmakers and advocates have argued that Biden should go ahead and wipe out some or all of the $1.7 trillion in student debt. fully charged – but the president has been suspicious of his executive ability to act on the issue, despite his campaign promise to do so.
Those calling for broad relief have noticed the president’s silence on the matter. He did not mention the student debt crisis once during his State of the Union address, angering advocacy groups like the Debt Collective, which told Insider on Tuesday that 45 million of Americans “with nearly $2 trillion in skyrocketing student debt heard rhetoric — not results — from President Biden tonight.”
The Debt Collective – the nation’s top debtors union – also launched plans for a student debt strike on Friday if payments were to resume in May, in a bid to help borrowers get their monthly payments as close as possible. from $0 while avoiding payment defaults.
Still, Klain’s comments on Thursday suggest that federal student loan borrowers may be on the right track to get more relief, but it’s unclear if that relief is the broad student loan forgiveness that many are calling for. Despite pushback from some Republican lawmakers who say loan forgiveness is bad for taxpayers and the economy, many Democrats argue that the relief is an economic stimulus.
“A third extension would be welcome,” New York rep Mondaire Jones said last week. “But we can’t keep band-aiding a worsening wound. The cycle of indefinite deferral is as unsustainable as the debt itself. And if the country can afford to keep deferring those loan repayments, we can afford to cancel the debt altogether.”