The White House has declined say who will be responsible for the $300 billion student loan forgiveness plan Biden announced Wednesday.
During a press briefing, Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy repeatedly pressed White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on the issue.
Under the new plan, up to $10,000 in student loan forgiveness will be provided to those making $125,000 a year or less and up to $20,000 will be provided for Pell Grant recipients.
When Doocy questioned Jean-Pierre about how the U.S. can afford this plan, she responded that the nation’s federal deficit has and will continue to drop
“And you might spend $300 to $900 billion extra, so you can do that and not increase the deficit?” Doocy asked.
“Here’s the thing. What we are trying to do here, we are doing this responsibly. You heard directly from the president,” Jean-Pierre said.
“This is something that is going to be important for middle class Americans when you think about 90% of the folks who are going to actually benefit from this are making $75,000 or less,” she added.
“And you think about what Republicans did just a couple of years ago, they signed off on a $2 trillion tax cut for the wealthy and did not provide any way to pay for that,” Jean-Pierre continued.
“Who is paying for this? But you’re talking a lot about how much it might cost or might not cost,” Doocy pressed on. “Who is paying for this?”
The press secretary praised the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress for their work to allow the federal government to provide for the middle class.
“When you forgive debt, you’re not just disappearing debt, so who is paying for this?” Doocy asked.
Jean-Pierre said that once the pause on student loan payments is lifted at the end of the year, the funds will “offset a lot of what we’re doing as well.”
“I just laid out for you, no, Peter, I just laid out for you how we’re seeing this process and why this matters,” she said.
Doocy was also able to talk with Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona about the new loan forgiveness plan.
“To those who are saying it is not fair, look the aim of this is really to address the effects of the pandemic. It’s my responsibility to make sure that people are not coming out of the pandemic worse off than they were at the beginning,” Cardona said.
“But to the fairness question, the people who are sitting at home having just paid off their student loans or having paid them off years ago, what’s in it for them?” Doocy asked.
Cardona said “We should be proud that we’re able to help Americans that need help right now just like we helped small businesses during the pandemic as well.”
Doocy responded “Just the final one on this. The people that already paid their student loans, they don’t get anything out of this deal?”
Cardona agreed, “Right.”