WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is expected to announce his long-delayed decision on Wednesday to cancel up to $10,000 in federal student loans for many Americans and extend a pause on payments until January, according to three people familiar with. with the plan.
Biden has faced pressure from liberals to provide broader relief to hard-hit borrowers, and from moderates and Republicans questioning the fairness of any broad pardons. The delay in Biden’s decision has only heightened anticipation for what his own aides recognize as a political no-win situation. The people spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss Biden’s planned announcement ahead of time.
The precise details of Biden’s plan, which will include an income cap limiting the rebate to those earning less than $125,000 a year, were reserved for an unusually narrow circle within the Biden administration and were still not finalized. on the eve of the announcement.
Decision-making on the wire has been a hallmark of White House Biden, but the particular delay on student loans reflects the vexing challenge he faces in fulfilling a key campaign promise.
The plan would likely eliminate student debt entirely for millions of Americans and wipe out at least half of it for millions more.
The country’s federal student debt now tops $1.6 trillion after skyrocketing for years. More than 43 million Americans have federal student debt, with nearly a third owing less than $10,000 and more than half owing less than $20,000, according to the latest federal data.
The continuation of the pandemic-era payment freeze comes just days before millions of Americans are ready to know when their next student loan bills will be due. It’s the closest the administration has come to the end of the payment freeze extension, with the current pause set to end on August 31.