The Washington Examiner reports that the Biden administration is about to announce whether or not it has decided to extend the moratorium on federal student loan payments.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona made an appearance on Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, where he revealed that an announcement on the issue is forthcoming.
“From day one, we’ve been really focused on making sure we’re protecting our students and our borrowers,” Cardona said.
“We know Aug. 31 is a date that many people are waiting to hear something from,” he continued. “We’ve been talking daily about this, and I can tell you that the American people will hear within the next week or so.”
The pause on federal student payments began in March of 2020, under the administration of former President Donald Trump. The pause was in response to the economic difficulties that many experienced in response to the COVID pandemic.
Trump, while still in office, extended the moratorium twice. President Joe Biden, since he took over the presidency, has now extended it four times. All-in-all, the moratorium has been ongoing for some 30 months now.
As Cardona mentioned, the moratorium is scheduled to come to an end on Aug. 31. And so, the Biden administration is waiting until the last second here to decide whether or not to extend it.
The expectation is that Biden will extend it through the midterm elections. This remains to be seen, but, as Cardona suggested, we ought to find out soon enough.
Another question altogether is whether Biden is going to cancel a significant percentage of federal student loan debt.
One faction of the Democratic Party has been urging Biden to cancel up to $50,000 of federal student loan debt per borrower using executive action. Biden, however, has balked at this idea.
Rather, Biden has suggested that he is in favor of a more modest plan that could see as much as $10,000 of federal student loan debt per borrower canceled. Again, though, it remains to be seen whether Biden is going to pull the trigger on this.
Biden’s decisions in the coming months will all come down to whether they will help the Democrats to get votes in the midterm elections. These student loan questions are particularly difficult for Biden given America’s economic woes.