Breaking News

White House press secretary estimates, Biden student loan plan could cost $24B per year

White House press secretary estimates, Biden student loan plan could cost $24B per year

(CNN) President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan could cost as much as $24 billion a year, White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre told CNN Thursday evening.

“Assuming that 75% of the people who accept this, the president’s student loan cancellation plan, and you look at the average financial, cash flow, it’s going to be about $24 billion per year,” he said on “Don Lemon Tonight.”

Pressed by Lemon on whether the White House would release a detailed cost estimate, Jean-Pierre said they would share more details after seeing how many Americans take advantage of the plan.

The White House struggled for a second day to answer questions about Biden’s plan, claiming at the same time that the president had waited to be “fiscally balanced” before unveiling the plan and had no way of knowing how much the plan would cost.

In a news briefing early Thursday, Jean-Pierre insisted that the plan to cancel tens of thousands of dollars in federal student loan debt for millions of Americans “will pay in full for what this president has done with the economy.”

Asked specifically whether the administration had a better idea of ​​the total price tag for the program, Jean-Pierre began his answer by saying “the president’s record on fiscal responsibility is second to none” before detailing a list of his economic accomplishments. But he did not provide an estimate of how much the plan might cost during the briefing.

“When it comes to costs, it will depend on how many canceled loans were actually expected to be paid, it will depend on how many borrowers take this opportunity before we actually realize it”.

Throughout the briefing, the press secretary was pressed on numbers. He claimed the administration doesn’t believe the move will increase the deficit, because “$1.7 trillion … we did the right thing to reduce the deficit” — referring to the administration’s estimate of how much the federal deficit will shrink in fiscal year 2022 — and student loan repayments in December. The start would “return $50 billion per year” to the Treasury.

He claimed the Treasury had been “running dry for the last two years” as repayments were paused, but National Economic Council deputy director Bharat Ramamurthy said on Wednesday that about $2 billion a month was still being paid by borrowers during the pause, compared to the usual $6 a month. billion

The White House offered a more pointed defense of its student loan cancellation plan on Twitter, calling out GOP critics whose Paycheck Protection Program loans are forgiven.

“Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green had $183,504 in PPP debt forgiven,” a White House tweet said in response to Georgia Republicans’ criticism of Biden’s plan. “Congressman Matt Getz has $482,321 in PPP debt forgiven,” read another in response to a similar complaint by a Florida lawmaker.

The White House tweeted similar responses to criticism from GOP Reps. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, Vern Buchanan and Markwayne Mullin of Florida, and Kevin Hearn of Oklahoma.

Asked Thursday whether the administration would eventually release a spending estimate, Jean-Pierre said, “The Department of Education is going to lead the way.”

Asked why the president waited so long to decide to cancel the debt, he said Biden “wanted to do it in a fiscally balanced way. And that legal review was there. … We wanted to make sure that the legal review was. Done.”

But with no public cost estimates on how it could be fiscally responsible and no specifics on how the plan would be paid for or who would pay for it, Jean-Pierre stressed that the administration “does not see it as irresponsible.”

“We don’t see it as irresponsible,” he said. “We see it as a fiscally responsible, balanced way to do it. I remember people saying, ‘Why don’t you do $50,000?’ We don’t want to do it because we want to make sure we do it in a fiscally responsible way. Again, not by pleasing everybody, but making sure we keep that promise, but do it in a smart, fiscally responsible way.”

Ramamurthy further explained to CNN’s Phil Mattingly on Wednesday the difficulty of delivering top-line numbers.

He said it would be difficult to know the total cost without knowing how many borrowers sign up. “That plays a big role in what the cost is going to be,” he said.

But beyond that, he said other factors make it difficult to provide a firm number. He said there are different estimates of default rates, which will affect the total picture. He added that the relief will also bring in additional tax revenue if beneficiaries start small businesses or buy houses.

This story was updated Thursday with additional information.

About admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *