With the moratorium on student loan payments stretching through the summer, several reports have surfaced suggesting that President Joe Biden is considering fulfilling one of his grander campaign promises and forgiving at least some student loan debt. He has seemed open to the idea in several meetings with House Democrats, though Republicans are reportedly prepping a bill to block any such effort.
NBC News reports that Rep. Tony Cárdenas of California asked Biden to cancel $10,000 per borrower, a move Biden was reportedly open to. “The president was incredibly receptive to that,” an anonymous aide told NBC. “He gave the impression that it’s a priority of his, and he said he understands it’s on young people’s minds.” Biden stopped short of a guarantee, but suggested voters who were counting on Biden for some relief of the nation’s 1.73 trillion in student debt had reason to be optimistic.
It’s not clear Biden would move ahead unilaterally even if he could, which is a matter of some legal debate. Republicans oppose the student loan forgiveness, and NBC News says Senate Minority Whip John Thune from South Dakota is prepping legislation to block it if it happens. That bill is called the Stop Reckless Student Loan Actions Act of 2022.
But student loan forgiveness is broadly popular among voters, with 60 percent of Americans favoring at least some form of student loan forgiveness including over 80 percent of voters under 30, according to a recent Harvard study. It remains unclear whether or not Biden will be able to get student loan forgiveness through, but doing so would likely be a boost for Democrats in need of a win.