President Joe Biden will likely delay his decision on whether to partially forgive federal student-loan debt for millions of borrowers, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The Journal, quoting an administration official familiar with the matter, said the president is expected to make his announcement in July or August before the pause in federal student loan payments is to be lifted.
About 40 million borrowers hold $1.6 trillion in federal student debt. Late last month, The Washington Post reported that Biden was to soon announce a plan to cancel $10,000 in student debt per borrower.
The plan was expected to call for limiting debt forgiveness to Americans who earned less than $150,000 in the previous year, or less than $300,000 for married couples filing jointly, the Post reported.
The White House, when asked by the Journal for comment, declined to comment on the internal discussions concerning debt forgiveness.
“The administration is continuing to assess options for cancellation and no decision has been made,” a White House official told the Journal.
Last month, a group of Republican senators introduced a bill that would prohibit student-loan forgiveness.
The Student Loan Accountability Act would prohibit the Education, Justice, and Treasury Departments from taking any action that would forgive student-loan borrowers’ debt.
Republican Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Tim Scott of South Carolina, and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana joined Mitt Romney of Utah in introducing the bill.
The bill is unlikely to become law anytime soon with a 50-50 Senate, a Democratic-controlled House, and Biden in the Oval Office.
“It makes no sense for the Biden Administration to cancel nearly $2 trillion in student loan debt,” Romney said in a statement.
“This decision would not only be unfair to those who already repaid their loans or decided to pursue alternative education paths, but it would be wildly inflationary at a time of already historic inflation,” Romney said.
Wiping out $10,000 of debt per borrower could cost roughly $230 billion, according to estimates by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan think tank.