Joe Biden responded on Wednesday to a severe scolding from the radical progressives in the Democratic Party by extending the moratorium on federal student loan repayment by an additional 90 days. The pause on refunds had been set to end in February.
In a White House statement, Biden said that as a measure for “management of the ongoing pandemic” and to “further strengthen” the nation’s economic recovery, he was extending the grace period to May 1, 2022.
The original announcement of a pause on requiring payments on student loans was one of Biden’s first official acts on the day he assumed office back in January. The stay on payments was then extended the first time in August. The moratorium applies to around 41 million Americans with active student loan accounts due for repayment.
Biden said that he knows borrowers need more time before restarting payments on their loans because they are “still coping”’ with the COVID-19 pandemic. He told borrowers that they should take steps to prepare to restart payments after the newly extended pause.
He said that debtors should take advantage of the Department of Education resources, including programs for lowered payments and forgiveness through public service. Of course, he told borrowers that they should become fully vaccinated and boosted.
This week, Biden’s announcement marked a sudden change in the administration’s position on loan repayments. A week ago, White House press secretary Jen Psaki gave a restart date on loan payment of February 1. Leftist activists and Progressive Caucus lawmakers immediately responded with outrage. Many publicly accused Biden of returning to his promise to relieve student loan borrowers.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has led Democrat lawmakers in asking Biden to use executive orders to cancel up to $50,000 per borrower of student loan debt.
A group of Democrats responded to Biden’s change in extending the moratorium by saying they were “pleased” the president listened to their demands. They restated their belief that stopping payments, interests, and collections provided borrowers economic security. They also reaffirmed their demand that Biden forgave student loan debt using his executive powers.