- President Joe Biden recently extended the pause on student loan payments until May 1.
- A Data for Progress poll of 1,214 people found that 59% of respondents favored a further extension until the end of 2022.
- Progressive lawmakers argue that if Biden can keep extending the break, he can cancel student debt.
According to a new poll, the majority of people would not be angry if President Joe Biden decided to extend the pause on student loan payments for a fourth time.
Biden recently gave 43 million federal student loan borrowers an extra 90 days when he extended the pause on payments until May 1. But a new Data for Progress poll obtained by Insider found the majority of likely voters would support a further extension. Specifically, of the 1,214 likely voters surveyed Jan. 21-24, 59% said they would support extending the recess until the end of 2022.
Overall, 81% of Democrats polled were in favor, compared to 36% of Republicans.
Additionally, 64% of poll participants favored Biden’s current hiatus through May 1, while 29% opposed it.
As of March 2020, federal student loan borrowers are not required to make payments on their debt as part of pandemic relief measures. And while Biden announced in August that his second hiatus extension to Feb. 1 would be “permanent,” just before Christmas, he extended the hiatus yet again, citing uncertainty with the Omicron variant as the main reason for the decision. .
While the additional relief was good news for borrowers and lawmakers who had urged the president to push back on resuming payments, some argued that instead of using the extra time to prepare to pay off their debt in three months, Biden should instead use this it’s time to fix broken loan forgiveness programs and write off student debt completely.
“We continue to call on President Biden to take executive action to cancel $50,000 in student debt, which will help close the racial wealth gap for borrowers and accelerate our economic recovery,” the Senator said. Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Massachusetts. Representative Ayanna Pressley wrote in a statement.
Some Republican lawmakers, however, are unhappy with the continued extension of the pause on student loan payments. Representative Virginia Foxx — the top Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee — said in a statement last week that the latest extension “is a troubling trend of wholesale student loan cancellations, which would be a massive mistake, with major consequences for borrowers and taxpayers.”
As Insider previously reported, the economic consequences of widespread student loan relief are controversial, but Marshall Steinbaum, senior fellow at the Jain Family Institute and professor of economics at the University of Utah, told Insider that the economy was “more than okay” during the pause on payments, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t continue with further extension – or debt cancellation.
“If we cancel student debt, that really means the federal government is choosing not to collect payments from debtors on debt already issued,” Steinbaum said. “Can the federal government afford this reduction in revenue of, say, $100 billion a year or a similar figure every year, indefinitely? I think there’s no doubt that the answer to that question is yes. ”
And as NAACP President Derrick Johnson said in a December statement, “If you can afford to put student loan payments on hold again and again, you can afford to cancel them.”