Biden: Still Considering Student Loan Forgiveness, but Not $50,000 President Joe Biden. (Getty Images)
Steve Holland and Trevor Hunnicutt Thursday, 28 April 2022 03:33 PM
President Joe Biden said on Thursday that he will make a decision on whether to forgive some federal student loan debt and announce his plans soon.
"I am considering dealing with some debt reduction," Biden told reporters.
"I am not considering $50,000 debt reduction, but I'm in the process of taking a hard look at whether or not there will be additional debt forgiveness, and I'll have an answer on that in the next couple of weeks."
Student debt cancellation has become a priority for many liberals and one that could shore up popularity with younger and more highly educated voters, who lean Democratic, ahead of November's critical midterm elections.
But the Biden administration has been reluctant to unilaterally make an unprecedented cancellation of college debt owned by the U.S. government, a move that would test his legal authority.
Instead, Biden has asked Congress to pass a bill forgiving debt that he could sign.
The federal government has let 43 million borrowers stop paying on a total of $1.6 trillion in student loans since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
The move faces criticism from Republicans, especially because it would raise taxes on Americans across the board to pay for it, especially when they say it would mostly benefit high earners while taxes to support it would mostly hit those without college degrees.
Biden on Thursday pointed to actions his administration has taken already, including erasing the debt for about 40,000, the Daily Mail reported.
"One, first thing, we did was reform the system that was in place that didn’t work for anybody," Biden said.
In late March about 100 Democrats led by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., signed a letter requesting Biden forgive up to $50,000 per borrower.
A Brookings Institute analysis estimated the cost of such a move at $1 trillion, more than the government has spent on supplemental social security income and housing assistance programs over 20 years, according to the Mail.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Wednesday that the move would hurt "'every single American."
"FACT → Debt cannot be 'forgiven.' It can only be transferred. Someone always has to pay," McCarthy tweeted.
McCarthy said the two "'winners" would be "High earners, like doctors and lawyers, who hold 39% of America's student loan debt" and "Colleges and Universities, who can hike prices since the government is paying."
Among his long list of "losers": "taxpayers, who would be on the hook for paying the loans" and "students and parents who already paid off their loans" or refinanced them.
Newsmax staffer Jack Gournell contributed.