Senator Murray Statement on Biden Admin Extending Student Payment Pause After Her Push For Action

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, issued the following statement on the Biden administration’s announcement that it will extend the student loan payment pause until August 31. 


“Last month, I pushed the Biden Administration to extend the student loan payment pause—because we can’t ask borrowers to resume payments until we fix the broken student loan system. I’m glad they took action today, but there’s much more to do. This pause is urgently needed and will take stress off the shoulders of so many borrowers, but we need long-lasting change and a student loan system that actually works for students and borrowers—not just quick fixes.


“I’ve outlined a clear plan the Administration must follow and I’m glad to see they intend to act to give struggling borrowers a fresh start. But the Administration must also forgive some debt for all borrowers and fix our student loan system once and for all—including by fixing our badly broken income driven repayment system and creating a new Public Service Loan Forgiveness program that works for our public servants. This is not too much to ask for: so I continue to urge the Biden Administration to deliver for student borrowers—and I continue to push the Administration to extend the pause until 2023 to make sure this all gets done before payments resume.”


Last month, Senator Murray urged the Biden administration to extend the student loan payment pause until at least 2023 and use the extended pause to permanently fix our student loan system. Her proposal calls on the administration to give struggling borrowers a fresh start by placing those in default before the pause into good standing; make income-driven repayment (IDR) more generous and easier to access; build on the tremendous relief made possible by the administration’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) plan by extending the deadline for the temporary waiver; and provide immediate relief by forgiving some debt for all borrowers. 


In March, Senator Murray also hosted a roundtable to hear directly from student borrowers in Washington state affected by the broken system—and reiterated her call to extend the payment pause and use the time to reform the student loan system so that it works for students and borrowers.