CBO: Biden's student loan forgiveness plan could cost $400 billion

President Biden delivers remarks on student loan debt forgiveness on Aug. 24. Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Biden administration's student loan forgiveness plan could cost about $400 billion over 30 years, per new estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Why it matters: Biden's student loan plan has presented new political hurdles for the administration — and the CBO figures give Republican critics another talking point for their already-vocal opposition.

Driving the news: CBO also estimated that the administration's plan to extend the pause on loan repayments by four months would cost roughly $20 billion.

  • "The president announced possibly the most expensive executive action in history without a score, and we’re now seeing just how expensive this policy is going to be," Marc Goldwein, senior vice president for policy with the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, told the Washington Post.

Between the lines: The CBO figures do not include the cost of the White House's plan to cap the monthly amount borrowers can be forced to repay as a percentage of their income from 10% to 5%, the Post notes.

The big picture: The Biden administration in August announced that it would cancel up to $20,000 in student debt for Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 for individual borrowers who make under $125,000 per year.

  • Approximately 20 million Americans could have their debt completely canceled under the plan and more than 40 million could have at least some of their debt canceled.
  • Conservative groups are already launching a search for prospective plaintiffs to challenge Biden's plan in court, Axios' Sophia Cai reports.

Go deeper… GOP governors urge Biden to withdraw his student loan forgiveness plan

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to note that CBO estimate is over 30 years, not 10.

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