Democrats on Capitol Hill are urging President Joe Biden to extend the federal student loan payment moratorium by at least six months as the economy continues to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter to Biden obtained by NBC News, a group of Democratic lawmakers asked him to take action before the Sept. 30 deadline when loan forbearance is set to expire, requesting he extend the pause until March 31, 2022, or until the economy bounces back to pre-pandemic employment levels, whichever period is longer.
The effort is led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York; and Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Joe Courtney of Connecticut.
“The suspension of payments and interest during the pandemic has provided essential relief to borrowers and their families during this economic and public health crisis,” they wrote to Biden.
“Restarting payments, however, will present a significant challenge for borrowers, loan servicers, and the Department of Education (ED), and we urge you not to let the payment pause lapse when borrowers are still depending on this financial relief,” the letter says.
The letter underscores the pressure Biden faces to address student debt as the Sept. 30 cliff draws near and as advocates grow increasingly frustrated with a president that they worry is uninterested in meaningfully engaging on the issue.