Will student loans be suspended again? Biden meets with Democratic senators on canceling student loans

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden met with Democratic senators at the White House on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the issue of student debt, a source familiar with the meeting said.

The president was expected to huddle with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, Democratic Senator from Georgia Raphael Warnock and Democratic Senator from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren. Schumer and Warren were seen arriving at the White House on Wednesday afternoon.

On Wednesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden hasn’t made a decision on student debt cancellation, but noted the president “appreciates” the senators’ outlook. working on the matter and “looking forward to the discussion this afternoon”, when asked about a potential meeting with Warnock.

Late last month, Biden said he was “considering debt reduction” and would have an answer on that “within the next two weeks.”

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Biden has been pressured to keep a campaign promise to deal with student loan debt. He signaled to lawmakers at a meeting at the White House last month that he would take steps to address the issue.

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.

In a meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in April, Biden appeared “positive” about the idea of ​​forgiving at least $10,000 of Americans’ student loan debt, but took no action. final commitment on this subject, according to the Democratic representative of California. Nanette Barragan.

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Barragán told CNN 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 made no commitment or specified a timeline for taking such a measure. His comments on the discussion came after reports that Biden strongly indicated at the meeting that he would take action on the issue through executive authority. But reporting that Biden relayed a decision at the HCC meeting, Barragán said, “was news to me.”

Some key Democratic lawmakers, including Schumer and Warren, have called on Biden to globally forgive up to $50,000 in student loan debt per borrower. Biden said he would not consider that number.

“I’m looking at facing debt reduction. I’m not looking at $50,000 debt reduction,” Biden said at the White House after unveiling new funding for Ukraine in April.

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.

The video in the player above is from an earlier report.

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