One of President Joe Biden’s first actions in office was a pause on Federal student loan repayments. Now he’s extending this again, in a move to “help Americans breathe a little easier” as the economy continues to recover from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biden’s initial announcement, on January 20th, 2021, after his swearing-in as the new President of the United States, extended the pause that was already in effect for the pandemic, because, as Biden said, people “should not be forced to choose between paying their student loans and putting food on the table.”
Since then, additional extensions have moved the date for restarting payments further out. Watch below as Biden announces the newest extension, which will take borrowers through August.
Today, my Administration is extending the pause on federal student loan repayments through August 31st, 2022. pic.twitter.com/xwicA1hCW3
— President Biden (@POTUS) April 6, 2022
“I know folks were hit hard by this pandemic, and though we’ve come a long way in the past year, we’re still recovering from the economic crisis it caused. This continued pause will help Americans breathe a little easier as we recover and rebuild.”
The pause in repayments doesn’t go nearly far enough for some Democrats, like Senator Patty Murray and Senator Elizabeth Warren, who are calling, respectively, for an extension into the next calendar year, and for complete cancellation of student debt.
The student loan payment pause has got to be extended until at least 2023. With rising costs and still building back from the pandemic, this is not the time to make borrowers start paying again.
— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) April 3, 2022
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) April 3, 2022
However, Biden has consistently said that he would cancel student debt only up to a certain dollar amount, and that he would not do so via executive action, only by signing a bill if Congress can pass one and get it to his desk — something that doesn’t seem likely without a significant shakeup in Congressional makeup.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com