Student loan forgiveness: Biden hails plan for ‘generation saddled with unsustainable debt’ – live

Declaring “education is a ticket to a better life”, Biden is outlining his plan to relieve student debt in a speech at the White House.

“Over time, that ticket has become too expensive for too many Americans. All this means is the entire an entire generation is now saddled with unsustainable debt,” Biden said, speaking alongside education secretary Miguel Cardona. “The burden is so heavy that even if you graduate you may not have access to middle-class life that the college degree was” meant to provide.

Key events

Opponents of Biden’s student debt plan have claimed it is unfair to Americans who already paid off their loans. The president was asked about this as he wrapped up his speech at the White House.

In his response, he draws a comparison to the business-friendly cuts that exist across America’s tax code:

REPORTER: Is this unfair to people who paid their student loans or chose not to take out loans?

BIDEN: Is it fair to people who, in fact, do not own multi-billion-dollar businesses if they see one of these guys getting all the tax breaks? Is that fair? What do you think? pic.twitter.com/HA9LzLBMSC

— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) August 24, 2022

As he spoke at the White House, Biden made special mention of how his plan would give racial minorities some relief from their heavy debt loads.

“About a third of the borrowers have debt but no degree, the worst of both worlds, debt and no degree. The burden is especially heavy on Black and Hispanic borrowers, who on average have less family wealth to pay for it… they don’t own their homes to borrow against to be able to pay for college. And the pandemic only made things worse,” Biden said.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) civil rights group has been vocal in encouraging Biden’s student debt relief efforts. NAACP president Derrick Johnson expressed some support for the White House plan, but added it didn’t go as far as the group hoped.

A notably supportive statement from the NAACP, which had been extremely critical of Biden on student debt in recent months: pic.twitter.com/LlrF21Xj3N

— Andrew Restuccia (@AndrewRestuccia) August 24, 2022

Biden has concluded his White House address on student loan relief, but as the president was heading out the door, a reporter asked whether he had any advance knowledge of the FBI’s search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

“I didn’t have any advance notice,” Biden answered. “None, zero, not one single bit.”

The White House has previously said the president was not told ahead of time of the FBI’s plans to search the south Florida property as part of its investigation into the former president’s alleged retention of government secrets.

Biden has compared his measure relieving some student debt to his administration’s efforts to revive the economy following the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our approach is why America’s economic recovery … was faster and stronger than any other advanced nation in the world. And now it’s time to address the burden of student debt the same way,” the president said. His administration’s goal is “to provide more breathing room for people so they have less burdened by student debt.”

Biden predicted his plan would provide relief to 43 million people, comprised of two groups: those who received a Pell Grant and will be eligible for $20,000 in relief, and those who received other federal student loans and will be eligible for $10,000 in relief. Both groups will need to make under $125,000 a year to qualify, or $250,000 for families. “All this means people can start finally crawl out from under that mountain of debt,” Biden said, predicting the relief would completely cancel the debts of 20 million people.

Among his measures, Biden extended the pause on student debt repayments to the end of the year, but has made clear he won’t do that again. “I’m extending to December 31, 2022. And it’s going to end at that time,” he said.

Declaring “education is a ticket to a better life”, Biden is outlining his plan to relieve student debt in a speech at the White House.

“Over time, that ticket has become too expensive for too many Americans. All this means is the entire an entire generation is now saddled with unsustainable debt,” Biden said, speaking alongside education secretary Miguel Cardona. “The burden is so heavy that even if you graduate you may not have access to middle-class life that the college degree was” meant to provide.

Joe Biden is over 15 minutes late to his planned speech on student loan relief, but the White House just released the below video, in which he explains the plan.

Perhaps this is what’s been keeping him:

President Joe Biden will soon make an address from the White House, where he’ll detail his plan to relieve student loan debt.

You can follow along at the live stream at the top of this page. For those just tuning in, here’s a link to the department of education page explaining how the program will work.

Earlier today, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre condemned the Texas court decision that blocked hospitals from being required to carry out emergency abortions.

“Today’s decision is a blow to Texans,” Jean-Pierre said in a statement. “Texas filed this suit to ensure that it can block medical providers from providing life-saving and health-preserving care. Because of this decision, women in Texas may now be denied this vital care – even for conditions like severe hemorrhaging or life-threatening hypertension. It’s wrong, it’s backwards, and women may die as a result. The fight is not over. The President will continue to push to require hospitals to provide life-saving and health-preserving reproductive care.”

The Biden administration’s attempt to preserve abortion access in states with governments hostile to the procedure faced a setback in Texas, as Edwin Rios reports:

A federal judge in Texas has blocked a Biden administration guidance that required hospitals to provide emergency abortions, even in states like Texas, which prohibits the practice following the supreme court’s overturning of Roe v Wade.

The legal effort by the Texas attorney general, Ken Paxton, a stalwart Republican, represents the latest attempt to stop the federal government from influencing the reproductive access landscape in the aftermath of the supreme court’s Dobbs decision, which overturned longstanding constitutional protections on abortion.

Such preventions on abortion access could have devastating financial and health consequences on women, especially Black, Latino and Indigenous women who already disproportionately suffer from deaths during childbirth.

Here are a few more details about who the student loan relief plan will affect, from a briefing White House officials held with the press.

From CBS News:

WH says most student loan borrowers — roughly 27 million — will be able to receive up to $20,000 in debt forgiveness, as Pell Grant recipients make up more than 60% of borrowers.

— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) August 24, 2022

WH says Biden’s plan will cancel the entire remaining federal student loan balance for roughly 20 million borrowers.

— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) August 24, 2022

And some of the mechanics of how it will work, from the New York Times:

Implementation: Borrowers will submit application showing they meet income caps, according to senior admin official. Official notes some borrowers already have submitted income information to Ed Dep and could receive debt relief soon. Ed Dep will release more details

— Zolan Kanno-Youngs (@KannoYoungs) August 24, 2022

Seeing questions about the income cap.

Senior official: For the purposes of the immediate debt relief, a borrower’s income in EITHER 2020 or 2021 tax year is assessed. If their income was below the cap in either year, they would be eligible.

— Zolan Kanno-Youngs (@KannoYoungs) August 24, 2022

Income cap is UNDER 125K. Those making 125K would not be eligible, per official.

— Zolan Kanno-Youngs (@KannoYoungs) August 24, 2022

Jill Biden is positive for Covid-19 again with rebound case

This just in: First lady Jill Biden has tested positive for Covid-19 again with a rebound case, announced the White House today.

THIS JUST IN: First Lady Jill Biden has tested positive for #COVID19 AGAIN with a rebound case, like her husband weeks before her.

She’s now gone back into isolation in Delaware, while @POTUS has returned to the White House. pic.twitter.com/C7A6ikyqnU

— Eric Martin (@EMPosts) August 24, 2022

The first lady had tested negative on Sunday and was with Biden at their beach house in Delaware.

Joe Biden will wear his mask for the next 10 days following Jill’s rebound case, reports Reuters.

Jill Biden is not experiencing any reemergence of symptoms, said the White House, and is currently following isolation procedures in Delaware.

“The First Lady has experienced no reemergence of symptoms, and will remain in Delaware where she has reinitiated isolation procedures,” her deputy communications director, Kelsey Donohue, said in a statement.

Previously, Joe Biden tested positive for Covid-19 on 31 July, testing positive again due to a rebound case.

Here’s more information on the impact of student debt on Black college students and how it reinforces the racial wealth gap from Andre M. Perry, Marshall Steinbaum, and Carl Romer of the Brookings Institute:

No matter what you want to do with your life, I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it,” President Barack Obama said in a 2009 national address to students. Such guidance is regularly told to Black people: The way to get out of poverty and achieve middle class status is to get a college degree.

But a college degree does not eliminate the income gaps between white and Black workers. Black students finance their education through debt, and thus college degrees actually further contribute to the fragility of the upwardly mobile Black middle class. And because education does not achieve income parity for Black workers, the disproportionate debt Black students are taking to finance their education is reinforcing the racial wealth gap.

Today, the average white family has roughly 10 times the amount of wealth as the average Black family, while white college graduates have over seven times more wealth than Black college graduates.

Read the full article here.

Experts and politicians are also emphasizing how student debt forgiveness is a racial equity issue considering the disproportionate impact that student debt has on racial minorities.

A majority of Black and Latinx students take out student loans to attend college.

On average, Black college graduates also owe tens of thousands of dollars more in debt than white college grads, a heightened financial burden.

From Princeton University professor Eddie S. Glaude Jr:

“Black and African American bachelor’s degree holders have an average $52,000 in student loan debt.”

— Eddie S. Glaude Jr. (@esglaude) August 24, 2022

“Black and African American college graduates owe an average of $25,000 more in student loan debt than White college graduates.”

— Eddie S. Glaude Jr. (@esglaude) August 24, 2022

From Washington congresswoman Pramila Jayapal:

➡ 90% of Black students have loans
➡ 72% of Latino students have loans
➡ 40% of borrowers never finished their degree

Canceling student debt is a racial justice issue and will help to close the racial wealth gap. This is a major step forward.

— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) August 24, 2022

More reactions across both sides of the political aisle are coming in following Joe Biden’s announcement of his administration’s plan to alleviate student debt.

Washington senator Patty Murray called the the announcement “huge”, tweeting:

After months of pushing, real student debt relief is here. This is huge.

And we can’t stop here. I’ll keep fighting to lower the cost of college and pushing @POTUS to fix our broken student loan system. https://t.co/e6HcwvvotK

— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) August 24, 2022

Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, who previously praised the plan, tweeted that the initiative is “a big deal”:

I’ll continue working with the Biden administration to reform our higher education system and create a stronger economy for all Americans.@POTUS‘ action to cancel student debt is a big deal.

— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) August 24, 2022

Meanwhile, very in line with Republican sentiment, House minority leader Kevin McCarthy shared his contempt for the measure, writing:

Who will be forced to pay for Biden’s debt transfer scam? Hard-working Americans who already paid off their debts or never took on student loan debt in the first place.

— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) August 24, 2022

The specific measures will be further detailed during a later speech at 2:15 pm eastern time.

The day so far

President Joe Biden announced his long-awaited plan to relieve student debt, which he will detail in a White House address scheduled for 2:15 pm eastern time. Meanwhile, Democrats are celebrating, after their candidate prevailed in a politically finicky house district’s special election last night in a sign that the party may be more popular than polls indicate.

Here’s more of what has happened so far today:

Calling it “student loan socialism”, the Senate’s top Republican Mitch McConnell has blasted the Biden administration’s debt relief proposal.

Here’s an excerpt from his statement:

Washington Democrats have found yet another way to make inflation even worse, reward far-left activists, and achieve nothing for millions of working American families who can barely tread water.

President Biden’s student loan socialism is a slap in the face to every family who sacrificed to save for college, every graduate who paid their debt, and every American who chose a certain career path or volunteered to serve in our Armed Forces in order to avoid taking on debt. This policy is astonishingly unfair.

The median American with student loans already has a significantly higher income than the median American overall. Experts who studied similar past proposals found that the overwhelming benefit of student loan socialism flows to higher-earning Americans. Democrats specifically wrote this policy to make sure that people earning six figures would benefit.

Biden’s allies are cheering his student debt relief announcement, with the Senate’s top Democrat Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren, a longtime advocate of the policy in the chamber, issuing a joint statement.

Here’s what the senators had to say:

“With the flick of a pen, President Biden has taken a giant step forward in addressing the student debt crisis by cancelling significant amounts of student debt for millions of borrowers. The positive impacts of this move will be felt by families across the country, particularly in minority communities, and is the single most effective action that the President can take on his own to help working families and the economy.

“This action, along with the pause on federal student loan payments, interest, and collections will improve borrowers’ economic security, allowing them to invest in their families, save for emergencies, and pay down other debt. In addition, we are pleased to see the President’s proposed work towards greatly simplifying and expanding access to student loan relief programs, including the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, and look forward to additional improvements to other programs like Income Driven Repayment, which will also allow millions more student loan borrowers to better access existing programs to reduce their student loan debts.

“No president or Congress has done more to relieve the burden of student debt and help millions of Americans make ends meet. Make no mistake, the work – our work – will continue as we pursue every available path to address the student debt crisis, help close the racial wealth gap for borrowers, and keep our economy growing.”

For those curious about the finer points of the White House’s student debt relief plan, Joe Biden has just tweeted out a link to a website with further details:

I’ll be delivering remarks on my Administration’s student loan debt relief plan at 2:15 PM ET.

In the meantime, go to https://t.co/80wXPTae6V for more information.

— President Biden (@POTUS) August 24, 2022

Biden plans afternoon speech to detail student debt relief

The White House has just announced president Joe Biden will make a speech at 2.15pm eastern time to outline his student debt relief measures. He has also tweeted the basics of his proposal:

In keeping with my campaign promise, my Administration is announcing a plan to give working and middle class families breathing room as they prepare to resume federal student loan payments in January 2023.

I’ll have more details this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/kuZNqoMe4I

— President Biden (@POTUS) August 24, 2022


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