Eugene Daniels, Michael Stratford
April 5, 2022
The White House plans to once again extend the moratorium on federal student loan payments through the end of August, according to multiple people familiar with the matter, including an administration official.
The announcement, expected on Wednesday, comes as the current pause on payments was set to expire May 1, potentially impacting more than 40 million Americans. The new August 31 extension, however, is considerably shorter than what many Democrats have been requesting. It also tees up another fight over the relief just months before the midterm elections.
Biden administration officials had signaled in recent weeks that they were likely to extend the relief, telling federal student loan servicers to hold off on sending notices to borrowers that their monthly payments would be starting. The U.S. official pointed to Susan Rice, the president’s domestic policy adviser, as key in the negotiations securing the extension.
“Since the beginning of the Administration, she has advocated for each pause on the repayment of student loans, including this most recent one,” the official said.
A range of Democrats had urged the Biden administration to extend the pause on payments through at least the end of 2022, which would be long enough to avoid requiring borrowers to make payments just before the midterm elections. Just last week, nearly 100 lawmakers led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to Biden asking him to extend the pause “until at least the end of the year.”
The Democratic chairs of the congressional education committees — Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) — had also urged the administration to extend the relief until 2023.