President Biden Should Again Extend the Moratorium on Student Loan Payments
In light of the economic slowdown that might result from the fast-spreading Omicron variant, President Joe Biden should again extend the moratorium on student loan repayments. Currently, the moratorium is set to expire at the end of January.
Biden extended the moratorium upon taking office and again in August, but has resisted extending it further or cancelling the student debt owed by more than 40 million Americans. But, economics and politics are changing quickly in light of the potential impact of another wave of Covid. Moreover, Democratic legislators are warning that the resumption of payments in February would damage their chances at maintaining their congressional majority next November.
Recent polling found that voters also support an extension.
Data For Progress: "In addition, a majority of voters [55% - 37%] agree that, because of the ongoing pandemic and the threat of the new Omicron variant, the Biden administration should extend the moratorium past the end of January 2022. The only demographic polled who disagreed with the statement was self-identified Republicans; Democrats, Independents, and both college-educated voters and voters without college degrees agree with extending the moratorium."
The Biden administration's Education Department is also studying the thorny issue of canceling some portion of student debt entirely. President Biden supports wiping out $10,000 in debt and changing how interest is calculated on loans, but it's not clear that it could be done with an executive order. And, if the cancellation of debt would require congressional approval, it's clear that Republicans would use the filibuster to kill such legislation in the Senate.
At some point soon, Biden will have to propose a long-term solution for the student debt crisis, but for now, he should extend the moratorium on the repayment of loans. With the rise of Omicron, the economic recovery is not guaranteed to continue into 2022.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content