Second Stimulus Check: Former Trump Official Calls on Congress to Extend Student Loan Relief Through 2021

The second stimulus check bill is still up in the air right now, one thing it should include, according to a former Trump administration official, is an extension on student loan relief through 2021. According to Forbes, Dr. A. Wayne Johnson — who served under Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in the Department of Education — sent a letter to Senators Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer with his recommendations on the next coronavirus relief bill. Notably Johnson left the administration on 2019 to pursue and open Senate seat in Georgia

"People need time to plan their lives, and Congress needs time to get Federal Higher Education Financing Reform in place," Johnson wrote in his congressional letter. Additionally, in his letter, the current Senate candidate stated that he believes all student debt should be dischargeable under bankruptcy. He also wrote that federal student loan debt information should be taken off from an individual’s credit bureau data. Johnson went on to suggest that Congress should enact a $1 trillion student debt cancellation measure, and that it should pass his Opportunity Plus Plan for Higher Education. Furthermore, Johnson also stated that wage garnishments and treasury offsets should be suspended at this time. He offered that the non-repayment time should count towards the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, which is how it was designated under the CARES Act.

The most recent coronavirus relief negotiations were being handled on the Trump administration's end by Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin. For the Democrats, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer came to the table. After a week of discussions, the group could not come to an agreement on the bills price tag, as well as many of the measures it would include. Both side walked away, and now that the Senate has adjourned until after Labor Day, it appears that talks will not be able to resume until September.

This certainly is not an ideal situation for many Americans who have been feeling the pressure of lost or diminished wages since the coronavirus pandemic began in March. A number of citizens have taken to social media over the weeks to note that the $1200 given to citizens through the CARES Act was spent quickly on bills and necessities, and after having gone for such a lengthy period of time with less money, its become tough to pay for crucial things, like rent. At this time, there is no word on when coronavirus relief package negotiations may resume.