The President has come under withering pressure to back off the Feb.1 restart of loan payments due the virus spike around the country along with economic and political worries….
The President seems to be strongly against any major amnesty for loan borrowers….
The resumption has been pushed back to May 1st…
A statement from President Joe Biden announcing the extension pointed directly to the pandemic and the economy as reasons for the pause. “[W]e know that millions of student loan borrowers are still coping with the impacts of the pandemic and need some more time before resuming payments. This is an issue Vice President Harris has been closely focused on, and one we both care deeply about,” the statement read.
Biden also asked borrowers to “do their part as well” and use Education Department resources to get back on track before payments resume next year.
The pandemic relief bill passed in the spring of 2020 initially suspended interest and payments for roughly 40 million federal student loan borrowers. That relief was extended multiple times through executive action by the Trump and Biden administrations, but it had been set to expire at the end of January. A wide range of congressional Democrats urged the White House to avoid sending student loan bills to millions of Americans in the coming weeks in the midst of another wave of Covid cases.
Some progressives had warned that restarting student loan payments early next year would spell political disaster for Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections.
Biden administration officials for weeks had insisted that the Education Department would resume collecting student loans on Feb. 1. The department had been sending notices to borrowers that their loans would soon come due after nearly two years of pandemic relief. And the administration had also been looking at ways to soften the blow of payments restarting for struggling borrowers.
But in recent days, the White House said they were reassessing the matter….