They Are Freaking Out at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Joe Biden has been dismissive of student debt forgiveness for a long time, but it appears that the prospect of a complete electoral blowout has him reevaluating this position.
He just extended the loan repayment pause by 3 months, to May 1, in what is clearly an attempt to salvage a horrible news:
The Biden administration, shifting course on a crucial pocketbook issue for millions of adults, announced Wednesday it will extend a pause on federal student loan payments through May 1 as the omicron variant threatens to hurt the U.S. economy.
President Biden depicted the move as an essential step to help borrowers at a moment of ongoing public health challenges. Until now, the payment moratorium had been scheduled to end in a little more than a month.
“Now, while our jobs recovery is one of the strongest ever — with nearly 6 million jobs added this year, the fewest Americans filing for unemployment in more than 50 years, and overall unemployment at 4.2 percent — we know that millions of student loan borrowers are still coping with the impacts of the pandemic and need some more time before resuming payments,” Biden said in a statement.
Many activists had pushed for the administration to take the step, but the White House initially resisted extending the moratorium.
In August, the Education Department had issued the fourth suspension of federal student loan payments during the coronavirus pandemic. That moratorium had been set to expire on Jan. 31. At the time it was issued, administration officials had said it would be the final such extension offered to borrowers.
It was the final extension until it wasn’t.
The White House has been spending an awful lot of time avoiding the use of executive orders to make things better.
In so doing, he has enabled the worst elements of both his party and the opposition.
I hope that this marks a change in tactics.