Staff report written from press release
WASHINGTON — October 4, 2023
In a press conference held at the Roosevelt Room at 1:16 P.M. EDT today, United States President Joe Biden addressed the ongoing efforts of his administration to provide student debt relief and support students and borrowers. Before delving into the topic of student debt, President Biden briefly touched upon recent developments in Congress, emphasizing the need for unity and cooperation to serve the American people’s best interests.
“The House will now reorganize and select a new Speaker,” President Biden said. “We have a lot of work to do, and the American people expect us to get it done. We need to change the poisonous atmosphere in Washington. We need to stop seeing each other as enemies and work together in a bipartisan fashion.”
President Biden commended the recent bipartisan agreements reached in Congress to avoid default and keep the government open, emphasizing the importance of avoiding last-minute brinksmanship decisions.
Transitioning to the topic of student debt relief, President Biden discussed his commitment to addressing the escalating issue of student loan debt in the United States. He highlighted the high cost of college education and the burden of unsustainable student debt, which has become a common concern for many Americans.
President Biden pointed out actions taken by his administration to provide student debt relief, focusing on reforms made to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. He noted that these reforms have led to over 700,000 borrowers having their debts forgiven, including a couple from Milwaukee who were freed from a monthly payment burden of over $800.
The President also discussed improvements made to the Income-Driven Repayment program, which has allowed borrowers to have their loans forgiven after 20 years of consistent payments. Thanks to administrative fixes, an additional $9 billion in relief has been approved for 125,000 borrowers in recent weeks, bringing the total student debt cancellation under his administration to $127 billion for nearly 3.6 million Americans.
Biden encouraged eligible borrowers to sign up for the SAVE Plan, which caps undergraduate loan payments at 5 percent of discretionary income.
The President also addressed his administration’s commitment to providing further student debt relief under the Higher Education Act. Despite previous legal challenges, the Department of Education is taking steps to identify challenges borrowers face in the current system and move forward with new rules to address these issues.
In his concluding remarks, President Biden reiterated his administration’s dedication to easing the burden of student debt, emphasizing its positive impact on the economy and the lives of countless Americans. He expressed hope that, despite the challenges faced in Congress, support for funding Ukraine and other domestic and foreign policy initiatives would prevail.
Following the President’s remarks, reporters questioned him on various topics, including his commitment to engaging with the next House Speaker and the importance of supporting Ukraine. The President also touched on his upcoming speech, where he will make a compelling argument for the United States’ continued support for Ukraine and the value of international coalitions in advancing U.S. interests.
The press conference concluded at 1:29 P.M. EDT.