Vice President Kamala Harris said the White House was seeking a way to “creatively” address student debt.
The Biden administration in December announced student loan payments would be halted until May 1.
Harris said “we have to continue to do what we’re doing and figure out how we can creatively relieve the pressure that students are feeling.”
Vice President Kamala Harris in an interview that aired Sunday said the Biden administration was working to find a way to “creatively” address student debt, citing the pressures it causes for Americans.
“I think that we have to continue to do what we’re doing and figure out how we can creatively relieve the pressure that students are feeling because of their student loan debt,” Harris told CBS News’ Margaret Brennan during an interview on “Face the Nation.”
Harris said that Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona was “working on what we can do and must do frankly to relieve the pressures of student loan debt.”
“Graduates and former students across our country are literally making decisions about whether they can have a family, whether they can buy a home,” she said, adding that she previously had student loan debt.
“And it’s no small matter, and we need to figure out a way to relieve debt. So it’s a fair issue in terms of the seriousness of the issue,”she said.
The administration of President Joe Biden in December extended the federal pause on student loan payments, allowing borrowers to avoid paying until May 1 as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus causes COVID-19 cases in the US to rise.
“Voting we’ve discussed, it is a very big issue, and what I believe we must do is continue to be vigilant and fighting for folks who have a right to be seen and their circumstances to be heard and understood because we have the ability to actually alleviate the burdens that people are carrying that make it difficult for them to get through the day or in the month,” Harris added.
“This additional extension of the repayment pause will provide critical relief to borrowers who continue to face financial hardships as a result of the pandemic, and will allow our Administration to assess the impacts of Omicron on student borrowers,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a December 22 statement.
“As we prepare for the return to repayment in May, we will continue to provide tools and supports to borrowers so they can enter into the repayment plan that is responsive to their financial situation, such as an income-driven repayment plan,” he added.
Some Democratic lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, have called on the Biden administration to go futher than delaying debt payments, asking the president to cancel $50,000 in student loan debt.
During his 2020 campaign for president, Biden pledged to forgive “a minimum” of $10,000 of student loan debt per person.
“Young people and other student debt holders bore the brunt of the last crisis. It shouldn’t happen again,” he said in a March 22, 2020 tweet.
So far, he hasn’t followed through on that promise.
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