Democrats urge Biden administration to extend student loan payment pause

A group of Democrats is pushing the Biden administration to extend the pause on student loan payments, warning that restarting payments would negatively impact Americans’ ability to afford things like food and rent.

“Resuming student loan repayments would force millions of borrowers to choose between paying their federal student loans or putting a roof over their heads, food on the table or paying for childcare and care. healthcare – as costs continue to rise and yet another COVID-19 variant increases hospitalizations nationwide,” reads the letter to President Biden and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, which was signed by more than 100 Democrats in both houses.

Payments are expected to resume on September 1.

The letter – which was led by four senators and three House Democrats – highlighted persistently high gas and food prices, high childcare costs and the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic hit communities of color and student borrowers harder than other communities.

“Furthermore, resuming student loan repayments at this time would further complicate administrative actions already underway or contemplated by the Department, which could contribute to unnecessary confusion for borrowers in the months ahead, the lawmaker said. .

“Currently, many borrowers are in limbo as they await further action from the Department or their Federal Student Loan Officer, either through the Public Service Loan Repayment Waiver (PSLF) , or through the one-time account adjustments announced by Ed on April 19, 2022. this would count past periods of forbearance or deferment,” they added.

The Democrats who led the letter are the senses. Bob Menendez (NJ), Cory Booker (NJ), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), and Charles Schumer (NY), along with Reps. Lauren Underwood (Ill.), Tony Cárdenas (Calif.) and Ayanna Pressley (Massachusetts).

The White House said the president would make a decision late next month on whether to cancel student loans or extend the student loan payment break.

“The Department of Education will continue to assess the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economy on student borrowers. We will communicate directly with borrowers about the end of the payment pause when a decision is made,” a Department for Education spokesperson told The Hill earlier this week.

The Hill contacted the White House and the Education Department for comment.

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About Matthew R. Dailey

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