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White House disputes report decision made on student loan forgiveness

President Biden said last month he planned to make a decision on canceling additional federal student loan debt within a month.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden's administration has not made a final decision on student loan forgiveness, a spokesperson said Friday, after a report that the latest plan would be to forgive $10,000 in student debt per borrower. 

The Washington Post cited three "people with knowledge of the matter" who said the president had hoped to announce the administration's long-awaited plan on Saturday at the University of Delaware commencement. But the Post's sources said the timing changed because of the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. 

“No decisions have been made yet — but as a reminder no one has been required to pay a single dime of student loans since the President took office,” a White House spokesman told Reuters and CNBC. CNN reported Friday White House aides have drafted the order for canceling some debt, but were waiting on a final decision. 

On April 28, Biden said he planned to make a decision on canceling additional federal student loan debt within a month.

Multiple outlets have reported over the past few weeks that the plan would be to cancel at least $10,000 in student debt per person, though there may be income limits for who would be eligible. 

The Washington Post's report on Friday stated the latest plan would include only those who earned less than $150,000 in the previous year, or less than $300,000 for couples filing jointly. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and other leading Democrats, have called for $50,000 in debt to be canceled and some activists want all debt wiped out without exception.

Those hoping for a higher amount were not pleased by the $10,000 report. 

NAACP President Derrick Johnson framed it as "like pouring a bucket of ice water on a forest fire." 

"In other words, it won't do anything, especially for the Black community. Right now, Black Americans are the only people who have more student debt left to repay than the sum of their median annual income. $10,000 in cancelation would not even place their student debt total lower than their annual income," Johnson said in a statement. 

During his campaign, Biden said he wanted to “immediately cancel” at least $10,000 in student debt per person. So far he’s repeatedly extended a pause on requiring borrowers to repay their loans, a moratorium that was put in place under then-President Donald Trump near the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

About 43 million Americans owe $1.6 trillion on their student loans, more than either credit cards or car payments.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.  

   

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