The White House held a press briefing Monday to discuss President Joe Biden and his administration’s updates on student loan forgiveness, climate change and mental health.
Ben LaBolt, White House communications director, said currently, $117 billion in student loan debt has been canceled. Also, $45 billion of loan debt for teachers and other public servants has been canceled through the public services loan forgiveness program, which forgives any remaining student loan debt to those who work in public service and makes payments for 10 years.
Last month, LaBolt said the administration launched the Saving on a Valuable Education Plan, or SAVE. Currently, 4 million borrowers are enrolled in the plan.
LaBolt said payments for SAVE borrowers depend on income and family size, not loan balance or any remaining balance forgiven after a certain number of years. The plan offers assistance to an alternative path to debt relief for as many borrowers as possible, he said.
Bharat Ramamurti, deputy director for the National Economic Council, said the SAVE plan offers faster loan forgiveness for students enrolled in community colleges.
LaBolt said Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act, which hopes to cut emissions in half by 2030. He also mentioned Biden has protected more than 21 million acres of public lands and waters.
Last week, LaBolt said the president established the American Climate Corps, a new job training program, which will employ 20,000 young people, to work toward restoring land and water.
LaBolt said the president signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act last summer to invest $1 billion over the next five years to help young people access mental health care.
He said states are already using that money to hire and train more than 14,000 mental health professionals to work in America’s schools this fall.