1 of 5 | Reps. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash, (R) and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., are among the eight Democrats who signed a letter calling on President Joe Biden to continue a pause in student loan repayment. File Photo by Sarah Silbiger/UPI | License Photo
March 31 (UPI) -- A group of Democratic lawmakers on Thursday called on President Joe Biden to again extend the pause on federal student loan payments and consider a cancellation of student debt.
In a letter to the president, the members of Congress urged the administration to put off restarting student loan repayments until at least the end of the year.
The Trump administration first enacted the pause on payments and interest in March 2020 to help those economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pause has been extended multiple times since then, with repayments now set to begin May 1.
"The payment pause has been a significant federal investment throughout the pandemic, providing essential relief to millions of families during the economic and public health crisis and saving them an average of $393 per month," the request said.
The letter was signed by Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York; Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Alex Padilla, D-Calif. and Raphael Warnock, D-Ga.; and Reps. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and James Clyburn, D-S.C.
The pause in federal student loan repayment meant some 37 million borrowers haven't had to pay an estimated $195 billion in payments since March 2020, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said earlier this month.
The Biden administration has faced calls from some lawmakers to cancel student debt entirely or partially. White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced in February President Joe Biden asked the Justice Department to review whether he had the legal authority to do so.
Jared Bernstein (R), member of the Council of Economic Advisers, joined by Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, speaks during a news conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room on Friday. Photo by Oliver Contreras/UPI | License Photo