March 16, 2022
With 41 million Americans set to resume student loan payments in May, the chairwoman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is imploring the Biden administration to extend the payment pause until at least 2023, giving the Education Department more time to fix the “broken” repayment system.
“I’ve heard horror stories from so many people who are struggling with the system. It’s not just an inconvenience, it’s just not working,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said in an interview Tuesday with The Washington Post. “We need to extend the pause and … make sure when payments resume, borrowers get a fresh start.”
Murray’s request comes as the Biden administration is signaling another extension. In an appearance on the podcast “Pod Save America” in early March, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said President Biden would decide whether to use his executive authority to cancel student debt “before the pause expires, or he’ll extend the pause.”
Days later, the Education Department told student loan servicers who manage its portfolio to stand down on sending notices to borrowers about the May resumption, according to people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. The department has declined to comment on the guidance, which was first reported by Politico.