President Trump said in his press briefing yesterday that his government is possibly considering expanding the current moratorium on national student loan payments. “We… suspended student loan payments for six months, and we’re looking to do that additionally and for additional periods of time,” he explained. Trump provided no additional information.
Congress had suspended payments, attention, and sets on government-held national pupil loans for six months under the CARES Act, which was enacted in April. That pupil loan relief expires in the end of September.
House Democrats passed laws extending that relief to get an extra 12 weeks, however, Senate Republicans have opposed that step. Rather, Senate GOP leaders only unveiled a brand new stimulus package that contains no extra extension of present pupil loan relief.
In March, however, before this CARES Act’s passing, the Trump government had enacted a temporary crisis interest freeze and payment suspension on government-held national pupil loans. The President did so through executive order after his federal emergency announcement in reaction to this Coronavirus pandemic. Congress subsequently codified that pupil loan aid from breach as it passed the CARES Act, and it also extended those protections for many months (to September 30) compared to the President’s first executive order had permitted.
With additional pupil loan relief in uncertainty after the Senate GOP’s unveiling of its stimulus package, regardless of the continuing pandemic and financial devastation, it’s likely that if Congress can’t reach a compromise, the Trump government could act unilaterally and enact a new executive order expanding the present pupil loan payment suspension and curiosity freeze. Together with the CARES Act’s provisions dying on September 30, countless pupil loan debtors will get charged only days prior to the November elections. That’s a potentially strong incentive for lawmakers — and the President — to behave.
The Trump government already includes a blueprint for this extension. The HEROES Act, which the House passed in May, extends the existing student loan protections for 12 more months, and would expand those protections to include commercially-owned FFEL-program loans and Perkins loans. In addition, a Republican congressman introduced legislation extending student loan relief through December 31, 2020. While this three-month extension is far shorter than the 12-months suggested by House Democrats, it would get the administration through the election, and effectively punt any further relief to the next Congress.
Meanwhile, talks Congress continue over a potential compromise stimulation package, but you will find, for the time being, no indicators of genuine progress.
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