PRESIDENT Joe Biden asked his Education Secretary if he had the authority to write off up to $ 50,000 in student loan debt for borrowers.
Biden, who had previously hesitated over proposals to write off student debt for millions of Americans, would now consider it.
Ron Klain, White House Chief of Staff says Politico Thursday that they hope to be able to move forward on the issue of student loans in the coming weeks.
“I hope we will see [an answer] in the next few weeks, ”Klain said. “And then he’ll look at the legal authority, he’ll look at the policy issues around it, and he’ll make a decision. “
During the campaign, Biden suggested he was willing to forgive $ 10,000 per borrower in student loan debt, but more progressive Democrats in his party are pushing to increase that forgiveness to $ 50,000.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki spoke about the student debt cancellation plan during a briefing on Tuesday.
“We’re always taking a closer look… our student loan options,” she said.
“This includes examining the authorities at our disposal, existing loan cancellation programs that are clearly not working as well as they should.
“This includes the borrower’s defense, total and permanent disability costs. There are a lot of steps that we are looking at, and we will continue to look at them and be in touch, of course, with [Senate Majority Leader Chuck] Schumer about our process. “
Sen Schumer, from New York, is one of the prominent Democrats supporting the forgiveness of $ 50,000 in student debt.
It is still unclear at this time whether the president has the power to write off student debt – which currently stands at around $ 1.7 trillion for more than 44 million borrowers, according to CNBC.
If $ 50,000 is forgiven, all debt would be written off for 80% of federal borrowers and the nation’s student loan debt would be reduced to $ 700 billion.
If $ 10,000 is wiped out, a third of borrowers would see their balances disappear and debt would drop from $ 1.7 billion to $ 1.3 trillion.