Clock ticking on student loan payments as Biden weighs options

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Student loan borrowers will have to start payments again next month, unless President Joe Biden steps in. His team says he is considering extending the pause on student loans — and even forgiving some debt.

The clock is ticking for the president to make a decision, with the pause on federal student loan payments set to expire on Aug. 31.

“I do hope he extends the moratorium on repayments because of the economic challenges around inflation,” Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said.

Many Democrats are pushing for President Biden to extend the payment pause. Some of them are even pushing for him to go further.

“I also hope they might grant some across the board student loan relief,” Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said.

The president has been weighing the idea of loan forgiveness for months, but there isn’t a consensus – even among Democrats – about what he should do.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., is part of a group of Democrats pushing for the president to forgive up to $50,000 of student loan debt.

“I think that’s urgent for those individuals and for our economy,” Blumenthal said.

President Biden has said he only supports canceling up to $10,000 of student debts. Sen. Warner agrees with that limit, adding that leaders should be looking at other ways to help.

“Where I really think we ought to be focusing is how can we bring down the interest rate costs?” Warner said.

Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida is against sweeping student debt wipeouts.

“People that didn’t go to college and run up all of this – like electricians and plumbers – we’re going to make them pay more taxes to help doctors and lawyers? That’s wrong,” Scott said.

He’s even introduced legislation to block the president from doing that.

“Taxpayers lent you the money,” Scott said. “Taxpayers expect to get their money back.”

The White House says President Biden will make a decision on both the pause and any forgiveness plan by the end of August.

Source: Rocky Mountain News

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