White House press secretary Jen Psaki reiterated that student loan payments would restart in February while addressing reporters on Tuesday.
Along with the restart of student loan payments, she also stated that borrowers shouldn’t expect student loan forgiveness unless the president receives a bill from Congress.
When asked if President Joe Biden would follow through on his promise to clear $10,000 from each borrowers’ debt, Psaki said, “If Congress sends him a bill he’s happy to sign it. They haven’t sent him a bill on that yet.”
Last Friday, the press secretary said that student loan repayment would restart on Feb. 1, 2022. She added that the White House would “release more details about our plans” for the transition.
Under the CARES Act, Americans with federal student loans haven’t had to make payments since the early months of 2020. This student loan moratorium has been extended multiple times throughout the COVID pandemic.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer came to the Senate floor Thursday of last week and asked the White House to extend the moratorium once more.
“We’ve been paused because of COVID. It ought to be extended, COVID is not over,” Schumer said. “Students still have these huge burdens and they’re just readjusting to life where they may have missed school or missed jobs or not gotten fully paid. So we need to certainly pause these payments.”
Schumer ended his request by urging the administration to “take the next important step in granting borrowers relief by canceling student loan debt.”
Schumer told the Senate his request was supported by other progressive leaders, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Ayanna Pressley. They have been part of a larger group of legislators on a mission to relieve the burden of federal student loans in the U.S.
Schumer previously made efforts to push a resolution to have President Biden cancel as much as $50,000 in debt for each borrower. The President was resistant to supporting the resolution, and the issue has since remained unaddressed.
According to Psaki, the White House pledged to “engage directly with federal student loan borrowers to ensure they have the resources they need and are in the appropriate repayment plan. We’re still assessing the impact of the Omicron variant, but a smooth transition back into repayment is a high priority for the administration.”
Psaki added: “The Department of Education is already communicating with borrowers to help them to prepare for a return to repayment on February 1 and has secured contract extensions with loan servicers.”