President Joe Biden had some disappointing news on Tuesday for those who were counting on him to cancel a large portion of their federal student loans.
The Washington Times reports President Biden as stating that he will not make an attempt to cancel $50,000 of each borrower’s federal student loans through executive action.
“I will not make that happen,” Biden said during a CNN town hall that took place on Tuesday.
Canceling $50,000 of each borrower’s federal student loans via executive action is a plan that has been pushed in recent years by the likes of Senate Majority Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and others.
“Debt holds people back from buying cars, from going on vacations, from starting families, from getting the job they want to get, it’s a huge anchor on our entire economy,” Schumer said just recently. “There’s very little that the president could do with a flick of a pen that would boost our economy more than canceling $50,000 of student debt.”
Schumer, Warren, and company believe that Biden, as president, has the authority to take this action under the Higher Education Act. This, however, is unclear at best, and the likelihood is that if Biden tried to do this then the matter would end up in court.
Biden, however, has never really been on board with this plan.
“I’m going to get in trouble for saying this, [but] it’s arguable that the president may have the executive power to forgive up to $50,000 in student debt,” Biden said on one occasion. “Well, I think that’s pretty questionable. I’m unsure of that. I’d be unlikely to do that.”
Now, Biden has confirmed that he will not be pursuing this idea. This doesn’t, however, mean that Biden doesn’t have a plan of his own to cancel some student loan debt.
Biden on Tuesday confirmed that he is “prepared to write off $10,000 [of each borrower’s federal student loan] debt, but not 50.”
This forgiveness of $10,000 is part of “The Biden Emergency Action Plan to Save the Economy.” Here, rather than through executive action, the $10,000 cancelation would come as part of a coronavirus relief package, meaning that it would have to go through Congress.
Earlier this month, the Biden administration indicated that Biden would “welcome the opportunity” to sign such a bill if Congress passes it.