The extension of relief for student loan borrowers will affect approximately 40 million federal borrowers who have been protected against payments and interest since the CARES Act, HR 748 (116), was enacted last March.
President Donald Trump last summer used management action to pursue CARES Act student loan relief until the end of December, by preventing student loan bills from falling due a few weeks before the presidential election. And last month old Education Secretary Betsy DeVos further extended relief until the end of January.
Biden’s directive calls for an extension of the existing relief for student loans, which applies to borrowers with student loans held by the federal government. The policy excludes some 8 million borrowers who have federally guaranteed student loans and who are held by a private lender.
Student loan forgiveness to Congress: Progressives pushed new Biden administration to write off student loan debt through executive action, a strategy the outgoing Trump Department of Education sought to prevent.
But Biden has signaled he doesn’t believe he has the authority to do so, and his advisers have made it clear that the new administration wants Congress to tackle this problem.
“As the president-elect has been saying for months, he is backing Congress in taking immediate action to write off $ 10,000 in federal student loan debt per person,” Deese told reporters Tuesday.
Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion Covid relief proposal does not include the student loan forgiveness, although his advisers have said he still supports the idea.
The general student loan forbearance extension is one of more than a dozen executive actions Biden plans to roll out in his first day in office, several of which relate to education.
Biden is expected to sign the orders in the Oval Office shortly after his inauguration on Wednesday afternoon. Officials said the full text of the orders would not be available until after Biden signed them.
Reversal of the “patriotic education” sign: Biden plans to end the Trump administration’s 1776 Commission, which had only been in existence for several months and was based in the Department of Education.
The committee released a report on Monday, parts of which appear to be taken from earlier work by an author, which attacked progressivism as a threat to American principles alongside fascism and slavery. He also defended the views of the Founding Fathers on slavery in what the White House called the “definitive chronicle of the American founding.”
Susan Rice, the new director of the White House Home Policy Council, called the commission “harmful” and a fact sheet from Biden’s transition team said the committee had “sought to wipe out the history of racial injustice in America ”.
Repeal of Trump’s order on diversity training: The Biden administration also plans to quickly reverse the Trump administration’s policy that banned federal contractors and certain grant recipients who conduct “any form of racial or gender stereotyping,” including diversity training.
Expanding transgender rights: Biden will sign an executive order that his advisers say “builds on” last year’s Supreme Court ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, a landmark ruling that federal law protects employees from discrimination in the workplace based on their gender identity or sexual orientation.
Rice said the ordinance would also create “an effective presumption that federal anti-discrimination laws that cover gender discrimination prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
This appears to apply to Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded education programs. The Trump administration has repeatedly said it believes the Bostock decision did not apply to Title IX, most recently in a Department of Education Legal Notice earlier this month.
DACA Booster: Biden also plans to sign a presidential memorandum on Wednesday aimed at “preserving and strengthening” the Obama-era Deferred Action Program for Child Arrivals, which provides deportation relief to immigrants illegally brought into the country while ‘they were children.
It will also include a legislative proposal that would allow DACA beneficiaries to immediately apply for permanent legal status.
The Trump administration tried to end the DACA program, but the Supreme Court ruled last year that the decision was legally flawed. A federal judge in December ordered the Trump administration to resume accepting new applications for the program.