The White House is looking into suspending student debt during the coronavirus outbreak, Mnuchin says

AP Photo/Alex BrandonPresident Donald Trump, accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, right, speaks to reporters about the coronavirus outbreak on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
  • A temporary suspension of student loan debt is one of many policies under consideration at the White House, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday.
  • The proposal comes as policymakers move to limit the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • “That’s on our list of 50 different items we’re bringing to the president for a decision. That will be something we’re looking at,” Mnuchin said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday a temporary suspension of student loan debt is one of many policies the White House might pursue as the coronavirus pandemic hits the US economy. Asked whether a three-month hiatus from student loan payments was under consideration, Mnuchin told CNBC: “That’s on our list of 50 different items we’re bringing to the president for a decision. That will be something we’re looking at.”

The Trump administration has been scrambling to respond to the respiratory illness COVID-19, which has sickened at least 1,200 throughout the US in recent weeks. US officials have placed increasingly stringent restrictions on travel and commerce in a bid to contain the spread, slowing economic activity across the nation and putting Wall Street and Main Street on edge.


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The discussions about the temporary suspension of student debt come just days after bipartisan senators moved to overturn a Trump administration proposal to dramatically limit higher-education loan relief.

President Trump has also pushed for tax relief and targeted industry aid to soften the economic blow of COVID-19. While payroll tax cuts have fallen flat among key members of Congress, the White House has separately sought to reach a deal with Democrats on the expansion of paid sick leave and other economic measures.

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