President Joe Biden still plans to resume federal student loan payments in May, which is not in line with his campaign promise Cancel at least $ 10,000 in student loan debt per borrower. With the coronavirus pandemic entering its third year and the White House losing support from young people, progressives, and debt relief advocates, warn that inaction in the student debt crisis will almost certainly harm Democrats in this year’s mid-term election.
Biden’s refusal to undertake modest debt relief also comes at a time when prices are rising and pandemic federal benefits are phasing out, which weighs heavily on the poor and working class. After the Biden administration was first enacted under the Trump administration two years ago when the pandemic began, it revised its position and canceled a 90-day extension of the moratorium, citing the Omicron variant as the main reason for the change.
“The longer the break, the harder it is to justify collecting these payments when people can’t pay, and unfortunately it looks like people’s finances won’t improve in the next few years.” Months, ”said Braxton Brewington, a spokesman for the Debt Collective, a national union of debtors The nation.
Brewington called Biden’s breach of promise a “belly blow” and said the president had turned his back on many of the groups that make up his political base. Though Biden’s student debt relief proposal was much smaller than that of some of its main opponents for 2020, from Bernie Sanders’ universal debt relief plan to Elizabeth Warren’s means tested cancellation policy, Biden repeatedly promised to cancel instantly up to $ 10,000 per borrower.
“It stops people. You are in real trouble, ”Biden said just weeks after winning the student loan election. “You have to choose between paying your student loan or paying your rent – decisions like that. It should be done immediately. ”
But over the past year, Biden has refused to use his executive powers to wipe out the student debt that weighs on some 45 million Americans, despite increased pressure from his party’s progressive wing, as well as some establishment officials like Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer. Instead, the government tossed the issue with Congress, deceiving the public as to whether the president had any authority to act.
Recent polls show that Biden’s support among young Americans has declined significantly since he began his tenure. According to The economist‘S analysis In a poll conducted with YouGov in December, an average of 29 percent of people under 30 are in favor of Biden’s job as president, compared with 50 percent who oppose it – the worst drop of any age group. About a third of adults under the age of 30 have student loans outstanding, according to to the Pew research center. Student loan debt also weighs disproportionately on black people, especially black women, an electoral bloc that was critical to Biden’s victory over former President Donald Trump.