NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
The Biden administration continued to dodge questions about how much his student loan handout will cost, saying “We just don’t want to get ahead of ourselves.”
The response came from White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre when she was asked Thursday about the massive plan to curb college debt.
“You could say ‘this is how much it’s going to cost if everyone who is eligible applies,'” a reporter is heard asking Jean-Pierre during a press briefing.
“We just don’t have a number to share at this time,” she replied. “It is a process that we just need to take a look before we can answer that question. We just don’t want to get ahead of ourselves.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington on Thursday. She refused to attach a number to the Biden student loan handout plan that could cost billions, according to watchdog groups. (AP)
During the briefing, Jean-Pierre told reporters the White House can’t be sure how much the handout will cost. The cost of the program will depend on borrowers and the nature of their loans, she said. Watchdog groups say Biden’s plan will cost taxpayers up to $600 billion over the next 10 years.
“All of this, when it comes to cost, will depend on how many of the loans canceled were actually expected to be repaid,” Jean-Pierre said. “It will depend on how many borrowers actually take up this opportunity before we have a real sense.”
Jean-Pierre went on to say that the cost will be offset by the deficit reduction included in other Biden administration priorities. She told reporters that the bill will not be “fully paid for” internally as past White House initiatives have been, but will be further offset by the resumption of loan payments after being paused since 2020.
On Wednesday, Biden announced a massive handout of at least $10,000 in debt reduction for some student loan borrowers. Up to 20 million borrowers may have their loans canceled, the White House said Wednesday.
Biden said during remarks at the White House Wednesday that by resuming student loan payments that have been frozen during the COVID pandemic “at the same time as we provided targeted relief,” his administration is taking an “economically responsible course.”
The national debt, according to the Treasury Department, currently sits at $30.7 trillion.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw and Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.
Louis Casiano is a reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected].