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Prez Biden’s second attempt: Student loan cancellation second hearings underway

Washington DC, United States: On Tuesday, President Joe Biden participated in the round of hearings for student loan cancellation, during which the basic agenda will be to negotiate the details of a new plan. This will be counted as the President’s second attempt. 

The first three hearings of the student relief will be heard by fourteen (14) people from the Biden administration via the process called ‘negotiated rulemaking.’ The major aim of this team is to guide the Education Department of the US towards a proposal. This is to be done after the Supreme Court rejected the first plan of the President in the month of June. 

According to the reports, these negotiators are from outside the federal government and their work is to highlight the administration’s viewpoint on student loans. This panel will include the people who will benefit from the proposal, such as students and officials from different colleges. Along with this, they will be accompanied by state officials, loan services and advocates, including the NAACP. 

It is to be noted that the conservative court stated that it couldn’t cancel the loans using the HEROES Act 2003. Following the denial, President Biden asked the Education Department to find an alternative to the loan relief. 

Credits: Google Images

However, the latest attempt will be directly affected by a sweeping law known as the Higher Education Act. Under this Act, the education secretary authority has the right to waive student loans, but the use of power will be a subject of legal debate. 

Who are the beneficiaries of the new plan?

As per the reports published by AP, it is not clear who will be counted as the beneficiary under the new plan and how much relief will be provided. Accordingly, these details will be decided after the administration takes all the important inputs from the negotiators. Apparently, the negotiators and the government will meet in December, following the series of sessions. 

The process will conclude after conducting a voting process by the negotiators, who will vote on the proposed rule draft. If a decision is made through this process, then the department will move forward, but if not, then the agency will propose its own plan. However, the plan will be finalized after a round of public comment period. 

What benefits will the new plan give?

According to the Biden administration, the President assures to benefit “as many borrowers as possible,” but some reports suggest that it is unclear whether it will cover as many people as the first proposal.

Credits: Google Images

The first proposal suggested canceling federal student loans up to US$ 20,000. This privilege was supposed to be given to borrowers with incomes below US$125,000 or couples below US$250,000. 

Biden’s take to deliver student debt relief:

President Joe Biden, at last week’s briefing at the White House, outlined that many college graduates have been submitting payments for years, but they still owe money more than they originally borrowed because of the interest. 

He can be quoted saying, “My administration is doing everything it can to deliver student debt relief to as many as we can, as fast as we can,” according to the AP.

When and where will the negotiators meet for the next three sessions?

The next three (3) meetings will be virtual two-day sessions scheduled on October 10, November 6 and December 11, respectively. 

The US Education Department has issued a paper with some basic and primary questions that will be up for debate with the negotiators. According to AP, this issue paper reflects the ideology of the department to cancel the loan policy. However, it may also identify five groups that need the benefits.

Accordingly, the Negotiators are being asked how the agency should help:

— Borrowers with older loans taken out before Congress created benefits meant to ease the burden of student debt;

— Those who borrowed loans to attend college programs that didn’t lead to jobs with enough earnings to repay their loans;

— Borrowers whose interest grows so much that their balances exceed what they initially owed;

— Those who are eligible for loan cancellation under existing income-driven repayment plans but have not applied for those programs;

— Those who face hardships “that the current student loan system does not adequately address.”

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