WASHINGTON (NBC News) — At the beginning of April, White House chief of staff Ron Klain gave proponents of student debt cancellation a glimmer of hope when he announced President Joe Biden had asked the Education Department to prepare a memo examining his legal authority to wipe out debt through executive action.
“Hopefully we’ll see that in the next few weeks,” Klain said at the time. “And then he’ll look at that legal authority, he’ll look at the policy issues around that, and then he’ll make a decision. He hasn’t made a decision on that either way. In fact, he hasn’t yet gotten the memos that he needs to start to focus on that decision.”
The White House has tied Biden’s policy approach to student debt relief to the Education Department’s memo, but nearly two months since Klain’s comments, it is unclear when the department’s review will be completed. Advocates for student debt cancellation say they have been left in the dark on the timeline of the memo and are growing increasingly concerned that the administration is not willing to engage seriously on the issue.