White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Sunday she expects student loan payments will resume “sometime” after the repeatedly extended moratorium expires at the end of August.
“We are going to continue to assess every month, every few months, on where things stand, both looking, of course, at COVID, but also economic data and where we need to continue to help give the American people some breathing room,” Psaki said on “Fox News Sunday.” She was interviewed by Dana Perino, who was White House press secretary during the George W. Bush administration.
Psaki said the economy is strong, pointing to the 3.6% unemployment level, but acknowledged American families are faced with rising costs due to inflation. For many people, student loans are a major consideration.
“While it isn’t everybody in the country who has student loans, a lot of people do, and this is a period of time where the president, the Department of Education, made the decision to continue the pause repayments, and we’ll continue to assess as we get closer to the next deadline in August,” Psaki said.
The student loan payment moratorium was first imposed by the Trump White House in March 2020 in response to the pandemic. It has since been extended five times, with the current version set to expire on Aug. 31.
While Biden pledged to cancel at least $10,000 of student loans per borrower during his 2020 campaign, he resisted calls by Democratic lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), to write off up to $50,000 of student debt last year.
Psaki said she had nothing to report about Biden’s request that the Department of Education look at whether he has the authority to unilaterally cancel student debt.
“I would tell you that if Congress were to send him a bill to cancel $10,000 in student loans ― in student debt, he’d be happy to sign it,” Psaki said during Friday’s White House briefing.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.