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FIRST ON FOX: Statements made from President Biden in Wisconsin last year created a tug of war between tolerant and progressive democrats forgave student arrears and forced some of the White House to clear up the president’s remarks, according to a future book by two New York Times reporters.

Excerpt presented by Fox News from a forthcoming book by Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns »It will not pass: Trump, Biden and the battle for the future of America“- describes the vague response of progressives after Biden made it clear that he is not open to the idea of ​​forgiving large debts on student loans, especially for those who studied in Ivy League schools.

President Biden attends CNN City Hall at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, February 16, 2021.
(Sol Leb / AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking at Milwaukee City Hall in February 2021, Biden turned down an audience member’s request to his administration to forgive at least $ 50,000 in student loans to Americans across the country.

“I won’t achieve that,” Biden said. “It depends on whether you go to a private or a public university.”


According to the book, Biden, who told the town hall that he was not interested in forgiving “billions of dollars of debt to people who went to Harvard, Elle and Penn,” seemed to link “big debts to posh universities.”

Biden’s comments spiraled his staff, including Chief of Staff Ron Klein, as they tried to change what the president said to reassure the party’s progressive wing. That wing urged him to forgive more than the $ 10,000 he originally promised, the authors explained.

Despite Biden’s own remarks, Klein, according to the book, spoke one-on-one “with several Congressional supporters of debt cancellation to reassure them that his boss was not going to take such a firm stand.”

“One lawmaker who spoke to Ron Klein recalled softly saying that Biden sometimes gets a little confused in his public statements,” the authors write. “When a group of progressives from the House of Representatives raised the issue again with Klein in a meeting a few weeks later, the trusted aide hinted at Biden’s comments as a mistake.”


“We fixed it the next day, right?” Klein spoke of Biden’s remarks, according to memoirs of one of the lawmakers presented in the book.

This week, it was reported that Biden told members of Congress that he was considering options for forgiving student loans through executive action.

Earlier this week the leader of the majority in the Senate Chuck SumerDN.Y., suggested Biden is approaching the cancellation of a student loan debt of up to $ 50,000 for borrowers.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., at the Capitol in Washington on June 22, 2021.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., at the Capitol in Washington on June 22, 2021.
(AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

“I will continue to urge the president to take this important step. And I tell my colleagues, I think the president is moving in our direction,” Schumer said from the Senate. “My talks with him and his staff have been very fruitful lately and I hope he does the right thing. We are getting closer.”

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Tuesday that there was a pause in the loan repayment that the president was speaking on Tuesday.

“He will make a decision before this pause is over,” Psaki said. “It has now been extended until August… and it is considering other options for the executive branch.”

Progressives are pushing Biden to fully forgive student loan debt through an order. They say the devastating debt that hangs over the heads of many college graduates is forcing them to postpone important life decisions, and that student debt disproportionately affects minorities.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki speaks at a briefing at the White House on March 4, 2022.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki speaks at a briefing at the White House on March 4, 2022.
(AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster)


Payments of federal student loans were suspended for the first time in response to economic losses from the cessation of the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020 under the former president Donald Trump. But when the economy emerged from the pandemic, Biden continued this pause several times after taking office, sparking criticism from Republicans.

The book is scheduled for release on May 3.

Paul Best and Tyler Olson of Fox News contributed to this article.

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