Student loans

Biden was ‘positive’ about eliminating student debt but made no commitments, lawmaker says

California Democratic Representative Nanette Barragán told CNN on Tuesday that Biden and Democrats had discussed the scope of such a plan — including whether it would include public and private institutions — but the White House had not. made no commitment or specified a time frame to complete such a step.

His comments on the discussion come amid reports that Biden strongly indicated at the meeting that he would take action on the issue through the executive branch. But reporting that Biden relayed a decision at the HCC meeting, Barragán said, “was news to me.”

Since taking office, Biden has taken several steps to provide student loan relief. He has repeatedly extended a pause on federal student loan repayments, an action that was originally issued under the Trump administration to help borrowers struggling economically due to the pandemic. More recently, the White House announced that the hiatus would be extended until August 31.

Representative Tony Cárdenas, a California Democrat who also attended Monday’s meeting, said he raised the issue of extending the payment freeze through the end of the year and granting 10 $000 or more in student loan relief to all US borrowers by decree.

In an interview with MSNBC, Cárdenas said that when he raised the two issues with the president, Biden told him he would be “satisfied” with the measures his administration is working on.

As Biden’s tenure continues, he faces increasing pressure to offer broad student loan relief. And some key Democratic lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, have called on Biden to globally forgive up to $50,000 in student loan debt per borrower.

The White House has long indicated that the president would support congressional action to eliminate $10,000 in student loan debt forgiveness for borrowers, but Biden did not say whether he would use executive powers to immediately provide that. massive debt relief. But Congress, where Democrats have a narrow margin, is unlikely to have the votes to pass legislation largely canceling the debt.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that Biden would make a decision on whether to take further action on student loan relief “before this hiatus is over.”

“Right now he’s been extended until August… he’s looking at other options of executive authority he has to relieve people who have student loans. So that’s what he conveyed during his yesterday’s meeting,” she added.

Pressed on whether the president would consider using executive authority, PSAki said, “He’s still looking at it.”

The Biden administration has already taken steps to provide other forms of assistance to student borrowers.

The administration has expanded existing loan forgiveness programs for borrowers who work in the public sector, those who have been defrauded by for-profit colleges and those who are now permanently disabled. These measures help borrowers enrolled in what is known as the income-oriented repayment program to obtain debt forgiveness.

CNN’s Katie Lobosco, Donald Judd and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.