WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last week, President Joe Biden did something that will impact millions of Americans who have federal student loans.
He extended the pause on payments through January of 2022. It was previously set to end in September.
The official release from the White House indicated that this will be the final extension of the program, which has been viewed as a major benefit to Americans who struggled economically during the pandemic.
When it is all said and done, an estimated $110 billion is believed to be in the hands of Americans and not the federal government as a result of the no-payment pandemic policy.
WHAT ABOUT FORGIVENESS?
Following the announcement on student loans, the focus quickly shifted back to a controversial topic: student loan forgiveness.
A number of top Democratic leaders, like Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), believe President Biden has the authority to wipe out some amount of college debt.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-C.A.), the most powerful Democrat in the House, shared a very different view during a recent press conference.
"People think the president of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness. He does not. That would have to be an act of Congress," Pelosi told reporters.
That, however, frustrated many progressives, who believe the final word on the subject has not been given yet.
IS THERE ANY MOVEMENT?
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is viewed as one of the leading progressives in the country and has been a major proponent of student loan forgiveness.
Joe St. George, the national political editor for The E.W. Scripps Company, spoke to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez about potential movement on the issue.
She explained that the biggest question mark is concerning what the review by the Biden administration will find.
The Department of Education and the Department of Justice are currently reviewing presidential authority for President Biden regarding whether or not he can "forgive" large amounts of debt.
"If they return with the conclusion that the president has the legal authority, which we know and believe he does have, that will be a major step forward," Rep. Ocasio-Cortez said.
It is unclear how long the review will last for the Biden administration.