The White House teases student debt action ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, with Press Secretary Jen Daki telling his fellow Democrats that President Joe Biden will either extend the federal moratorium on the loan beyond summer or will cancel some debt.
But fulfilling an election promise may not spark the enthusiasm Biden and Democrats need if the party wants to retain any congressional power next year.
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Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Adam Green described student debt relief as hugely popular. Green mentioned a PoliticoMorning Tip A poll this week found that voters backed some of the 2 to 1 debt relief. He said it could “rekindle” support for Biden and Democrats before November.
“The Democratic Coalition depends on restoring support from young voters, and canceling student loan debt would certainly help deal with it,” Green told Washington Examiner.
The PCCC also released a report based on Psaki Pod Save America podcast comments on student debt relief and asked members of the loan action committee for stories related to loans to share with management and the media.
«Psaki he said“Between now and August 31, [the freeze on payments] either it is going to be extended or we will make a decision as well [White House chief of staff] Ρον [KLAIN] “, regarding the cancellation of the student debt”, wrote the email.
“Now is the time for the White House to look at the overwhelming public demand and the commitment of the base,” he wrote.
A Democratic Senate official agreed that action on student debt could “change voting decisions for many.” And Costas Panagopoulos, president of political science at Northeastern University, argued that keeping campaign promises was rarely detrimental to a candidate.
“On the contrary, the failure to act on student debt or other top priorities for new voters could alienate them, possibly for years to come,” he said.
Darrell West, vice president of governance studies at the Brookings Institution, said the student debt was worrying for the wider electorate amid “inflation, COVID and high housing costs”.
“Anything that reduces their costs would help maintain the economy,” he said. “Biden has considerable power through executive action to make these political moves and does not require congressional action.”
But independent political analyst Dan Schnur, now at the University of Southern California, argued that the number of voters for whom student debt is a wedge was small.
“But Biden has to motivate the Democratic base, and apart from a new judge on the Supreme Court, he has little to offer,” he said. “So smaller-scale policy changes like this could be his best bet to get the party’s supporters to show up in November.”
George Mason University policy professor Jeremy Meyer remains convinced that Biden will be rewarded for his student debt action.
“It will probably have a slight inflationary effect, however,” Mayer said. “Inflation is really affecting Biden more than anything else right now.”
Former Democratic Treasury Secretary and Director of the National Economic Council Larry Summers has expressed similar concerns. The honest economist criticized Biden’s student debt deferral as “a reversal that creates uncertainty, it is not targeted” and “a macroeconomic step in the wrong direction”.
Biden has extended the moratorium on student debt this month until August 31. The news is estimated to reduce the financial burdens facing 41 million people. But in his announcement, the president had asked borrowers to prepare to repay the government or investigate the public service debt forgiveness program, for example.
One day before Psaki speaks Pod Save America, He stressed Biden’s willingness to sign a bill to cancel $ 10,000 in student debt if Congress approves one. Her response was in response to a question about Senate Majority Leader Chuck Sumer, who said the president “seems more open to this than ever.”
“No further action has been taken,” Psaki told reporters as Democrats, such as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, urge Biden to unilaterally forgive $ 50,000 per borrower.
Last week, Psaki avoided questions about whether the White House would reveal a report from the Department of Education on Biden’s student debt relief authority.
“Not a single person has paid a penny for his student loans since the president took office,” he said. “He continued to evaluate and evaluate with the Ministry of Education and other policy makers in the administration what are the needs to reduce costs for people, including those who have student loans and are feeling stressed, even as the economy continues to recover. but as we see the cost very high in some areas “.
Biden highlighted his other investments in education this week while in North Carolina, advancing the more than $ 5 billion donated to historic black colleges and universities last year through the US Rescue Plan and other sources.
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“We are also working to increase Pell grants to help millions of black students in lower-income families attend community colleges and four-year schools,” he told the University of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University.