After weeks of waiting, the Biden administration delivered a blow to its own progressive agenda by scaling back its major campaign promise: forgiveness of student loan debt.
Initially, Biden said that he would forgive student loan debt for the majority of borrowers.
Yet, last week, the Department of Education quietly and stealthily changed the scope of the forgiveness plan. National Public Radio (NPR) reported that the agency’s website made a significant change by suddenly excluding borrowers who have privately-held federal student loans in the Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) or Perkins Loans. It meant that about 800,000 borrowers were no longer eligible.
Apparently, the Biden administration was wary of potential lawsuits, where private banks who hold these privately-held debts could sue the Biden administration for causing financial harm to their businesses.
Yet the stealthy update from the administration disappointed progressive supporters.
However, critics pointed out that the Biden administration finally woke up to reality. As Accuracy in Academia noted in our reporting, forgiving student loan debt would cost billions of taxpayer dollars and was morally unfair to the majority of Americans who paid off debt or didn’t incur debt at all.
It did not help Biden’s case that a government report claimed that it would cost $400 billion in the next 30 years and increase the national debt. It undermined the Biden administration’s estimate that the student loan forgiveness program would only cost “an average of $30 billion annual over the next decade.”
If this was supposed to be a major accomplishment for the Biden presidency, it has become a major dud, similar to his faltering and underwater approval ratings.