President Joe Biden is breaking one of his central campaign promises, surely upsetting progressives who wanted Biden to unilaterally cancel the massive bill of student loan debt that Americans have accumulated.
As of June 2020, outstanding federal student loan debt was $1.57 trillion, which included nearly 43 million borrowers.
What did Biden promise?
Biden's campaign website stated ambitious promises to "more than halve payments on undergraduate federal student loans," "make loan forgiveness work for public servants," and even to "make public colleges and universities tuition-free for all families with incomes below $125,000."
Biden reaffirmed his promise to take action on student loans when, after winning election in November, he endorsed a proposal from House Democrats to "immediately" cancel $10,000 of student loan debt from every federal borrower.
"It's holding people up," Biden said of student loan debt. "They're in real trouble. They're having to make choices between paying their student loans and paying their rent, those kinds of decisions. It should be done immediately.
"Immediate $10,000 forgiveness of student loans, helping people up there in real trouble," Biden said.
What are the details?
The Washington Post reported that Biden's first budget as president, which is expected to be finalized this week, will not address forgiving large amounts of student loan debt,
The absence of student loan debt forgiveness is one of many "ambitious Biden campaign pledges" missing from Biden's budget proposal, the Post noted.
The exclusion of student loan forgiveness in his budget is notable considering Biden has already proposed three massive legislative spending bills totaling more than $6 trillion. Why not tack on another $1 trillion or so to that price tag to appease far-left Democrats?
As Forbes noted, the writing is on the wall — Biden increasingly likely to renege on his campaign promise:
The exclusion of student loan cancellation isn't a surprise. Based on the latest news on student loan cancellation, it's easier to read the writing on the wall about where Biden stands on his executive authority to cancel student loans. It's not that Biden doesn't support student loan cancellation; he does. However, Biden wants Congress — not the president — to enact student loan cancellation through legislation.
In fact, Biden recently bucked the idea of forgiving debt incurred by those who choose to attend expensive universities.
"The idea that you go to Penn and you're paying a total of 70,000 bucks a year and the public should pay for that? I don't agree," Biden told the New York Times.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed in February the Justice Department was reviewing whether Biden has the legal authority to forgive student loans via executive action, something Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have pressured Biden to do.
Neither the Justice Department nor Education Department has commented on Biden's legal authority to cancel student loans.