White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki reported that President Biden was still considering his options to write off student loan debt during a press briefing on Monday.
The questions came after Biden’s chief of staff Ron Klain said Biden had researched his “legal authority” use executive action on the cancellation of up to $ 50,000 in student loan debt per person.
Psaki said Biden was more than willing to write off $ 10,000 in student debt through legislation in Congress, but sidestepped the idea of using executive action to write off a larger sum.
“I think that would naturally be the first step before it gets more important beyond that,” Said Psaki. “What Ron Klain was referring to was the fact that there is a review going on.”
“It’s both a policy review and a legal review – so the Education Department and the Justice Department – to look at what the options are and what authority could be recommended to the president. process it refers to, ”she said. .
Biden has started taking action to resolve the $ 1.7 trillion student debt crisis in the United States.
Still, 44 million Americans have student loan debt, and this has only been made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.
While the coronavirus relief program, known as the CARES Act, has set interest rates at 0% and suspended a majority of federal student loan payments, which has now been extended until September 30 2021, the financial burden caused by the pandemic has resulted in new student debt will increase by two.
According to Experian, Student loan debt levels increased by around 6% per year between 2015 and 2019, but in 2020 they increased by 12%.
When a reporter repeated to Psaki that Biden had said in the past that he would not write off $ 50,000 in student loans per person, Psaki replied, “We haven’t ruled out options, but this review is ongoing. and there is no conclusion about it. . “
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