Chairman Scott Statement on Biden Student Loan Announcement

WASHINGTON – Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following statement after President Biden announced that the Department of Education is extending the pause on student loan repayment, interest, and collections through 2022, providing up to $20,000 in debt cancellation to Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 in debt cancellation to non-Pell Grant recipients, and capping the amount borrowers would pay monthly for undergraduate loans at 5 percent of their income. 

“President Biden is providing unprecedented relief for America’s student loan borrowers. Today’s announcement delivers on President Biden’s promise to cancel up to $20,000 of borrowers’ federal student debt. Also, extending the pause on student loan repayment will further help get borrowers back on track. Taken together, these actions will help struggling borrowers and families recover from the pandemic, prepare for the return to student loan repayment, and make ends meet.

“We must also remember that, while debt cancellation is good news for those who currently hold student loans, it does not solve the underlying problems that caused the student debt crisis in the first place: the exorbitant cost of college, the declining purchasing power of the Federal Pell Grant, and our flawed student loan system. Without reversing the chronic underinvestment in higher education that has driven up tuition costs, and without fixing our student loan system that has made student loans more expensive to take out and harder to pay off, students will continue to take on more debt and borrowers will continue to face rising debt levels.  

“To support student loan borrowers—both now and in the future—Congress must take bold action to reinvest in higher education and provide every student loan borrower with the resources needed to access a quality higher education that leads to a rewarding career. Additionally, the Administration must better communicate with servicers as we come to the end of the student loan pause to help borrowers prepare to return to repayment, and the Department of Education should extend the Public Service Loan Forgiveness waiver, which ends on October 31, 2022. 

“I will continue working alongside the Biden-Harris Administration and my colleagues so that every student borrower can achieve the lifelong benefits of a quality higher education without crushing debt.”