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Business News/ News / World/  Joe Biden announces new student debt relief, says '…when we relieve Americans of their student debt, they're…'
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Joe Biden announces new student debt relief, says '…when we relieve Americans of their student debt, they're…'

During his presidency, Biden has erased a total of $138 billion in federal student loans taken out by 3.9 million Americans to pay for a university education, according to a tally by his administration

President Joe Biden arrives on Marine One to attend a fundraiser in San Francisco, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) (AP)Premium
President Joe Biden arrives on Marine One to attend a fundraiser in San Francisco, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) (AP)

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden, who secured victory in the 2020 election with substantial support from young voters, revealed his plan to further alleviate the burden of student debt by forgiving the loans of an additional 150,000 Americans through an extension of his student loan forgiveness program.

"While a college degree is still a ticket to a better life, that ticket is too expensive," Biden said in a statement. "And too many Americans are still saddled with unsustainable debt in exchange for a college degree."

Throughout his tenure as president, Biden has relieved a cumulative sum of $138 billion in federal student loans acquired by 3.9 million Americans for their university education, as reported by his administration's calculations.

"I'm happy to have been able to forgive these loans because when we relieve Americans of their student debt, they're free to chase their dreams," Biden added.

Initially, the 81-year-old Democrat had grander ambitions, aiming to eliminate several hundred billion dollars of debt for middle-class borrowers. However, this plan was thwarted by the conservative-dominated Supreme Court. Consequently, the Biden administration was left to enact a series of more modest measures as a workaround, with the latest being announced on Wednesday.

Under the new program, borrowers who have been repaying their student loans for a decade and who borrowed $12,000 or less will have their remaining debt forgiven. The White House estimates that this measure will cancel $1.2 billion in debt and benefit 153,000 individuals, who will receive notification of this positive development via email signed by the president.

Despite the Biden campaign's efforts to highlight the substantial economic and social progress made for young Americans, there appears to be limited enthusiasm among young voters for Biden's bid for re-election as he prepares to face the likely Republican candidate, former President Donald Trump.

Following the announcement of the new debt relief initiative, Biden's campaign shared a statement from Maxwell Frost, the first member of Generation Z to serve in the US Congress. Frost emphasized the sharp contrast between Biden's actions on student debt and Trump's approach, asserting that Biden is committed to providing relief to borrowers striving to make ends meet.

A recent opinion poll conducted by Quinnipiac University indicates that Biden and Trump are in a tight race for support among young Americans, with 47 percent of voters aged 18-34 planning to vote for Biden and 45 percent for Trump. However, when asked about their opinions of the two presidential contenders, only 30 percent of respondents in that age group expressed a favorable view of Biden, compared to 39 percent for Trump.

 

 

 

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Published: 22 Feb 2024, 06:32 AM IST
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