Biden ‘Weeks’ From Student Loan Forgiveness Decision

Broad forgiveness of federal loans is possible—but not $50,000 worth, Biden said

U.S. President Joe Biden gestures as he gives remarks at the White House Thursday.

Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images

The president on Thursday signaled a decision on whether to broadly forgive a certain amount of student loan debt was imminent, saying he would make an announcement in the next couple of weeks. 

“I am considering dealing with some debt reduction,” President Joe Biden said at a White House briefing. “I’ll have an answer on that in the next couple of weeks.”

Tens of millions of borrowers with federal student loans have been waiting for two years to hear whether a pandemic-triggered freeze on payment obligations would be followed by an actual cancellation of at least some of every borrower’s outstanding balance. Thursday’s comments confirm his latest thinking involves invoking his executive authority to cancel student debt owed to the federal government, rather than trying to get a bill passed through Congress, where even his fellow Democrats in the evenly divided Senate haven’t always supported his proposals

Biden didn’t go into any detail about the plans he was considering except to say that he had ruled out forgiving $50,000 per borrower, as some progressive lawmakers have asked for. While running for president, he proposed forgiving at least $10,000 of debt per borrower.

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