Statement from Alexis Goldstein, Senior Policy Analyst at Americans for Financial Reform:
It is deeply disappointing that Congress did not act to extend the federal student loan suspension in the Omni/COVID relief bill. This increases the urgency for President-Elect Biden to act, both by extending the pause on student loan payments and by cancelling federal student loan debt.
Instead of ensuring that struggling borrowers are able to keep their Social Security benefits or Child Tax Credits and Earned Income Tax Credits, the package includes a student loan-related tax break for major corporations. It extends by five years a temporary tax exclusion for employer-paid student loans, a policy pushed by large companies that offer student loan payment as a recruitment technique. This means student loan borrowers employed with firms that have generous benefit plans benefit from the package, while currently unemployed and low-wage student loan borrowers are left out entirely.
We urge the incoming Biden administration to ensure that it acts on day one to provide help to all student loan borrowers. That means acting boldly to boost the economy, tackle racial disparities, and provide much-needed stimulus to help all Americans weather the pandemic and the associated recession by taking executive action to cancel federal student debt on day one.