President Joe Biden is preparing to announce his plan to forgive up to $10,000 of student debt for those who qualify based on their income, The Washington Post reported, citing three sources.
White House staffers have been preparing drafts but are waiting on the president to decide, according to CNN.
The policy is expected to come with strings attached, applying to only those making under $150,000 in income, according to the Post. CNN reports the income cap might be even lower at $125,000.
Biden, who is due to speak at the University of Delaware’s commencement Saturday, was hoping to announce his plan during the speech, but the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which killed 19 students and two teachers Tuesday meant the administration had to change course, the Post reports.
“No decisions have been made yet,” Vedant Patel, a White House spokesman, said in a statement to the newspaper Thursday. HuffPost has reached out to the White House for comment.
But some progressive Democrats are growing impatient.
“The longer the administration waits — apparently because they are figuring out how many people to exclude from a cancellation program — the less appreciative people are going to be, because they’re continuing to struggle this entire time,” Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) told CNN.
An additional challenge facing the administration are the inflation pressures U.S. households have been dealing with, and there is concern that any action on student debt forgiveness could add to that, amid worries about a potential U.S. recession.
In April, Biden said the White House was a few weeks away from announcing its action plan on student loans.
“I am considering dealing with some debt reduction. I am not considering $50,000 debt reduction,” Biden told reporters on April 28. “I’m in the process of taking a hard look at whether or not there will be additional debt forgiveness, and I’ll have an answer on that in the next couple of weeks.”
The $10,000 figure reported by the Post is in line with what Biden campaigned on in 2020, but still significantly lower than what many Democratic lawmakers have been calling for.
“I’m going to make sure everyone gets $10,000 knocked off of their student debt,” Biden told a town hall in Miami in October 2020.
The Biden administration has paused student loan payments until Aug. 31, continuing a policy that was first brought in at the beginning of the pandemic.