President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan could cost about $24 billion per year, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told CNN Thursday evening.
“Assuming that 75% of folks who take this on, the President’s student loan cancellation plan, and you look at the average monetary, cash flow on that, it’s going to be about $24 billion per year,” she said on “Don Lemon Tonight.”
Pushed by Lemon on whether the White House will release a detailed cost estimate, Jean-Pierre said that they will share more details once they see how many Americans take advantage of the plan.
The White House had struggled for a second straight day to answer questions about Biden’s plan, simultaneously claiming that the President waited for the plan to be “fiscally balanced” before unveiling it and that there was no way to know how much the plan would cost.
At a news briefing earlier Thursday, Jean-Pierre continued to insist that the plan to cancel thousands of dollars in federal student loan debt for millions of Americans would “be fully paid for because of the work that this President has done with the economy.”
Asked specifically if the administration had a better idea about the total price tag for the program, Jean-Pierre began her answer by saying “the President’s record on fiscal responsibility is second to none” before detailing a list of his economic accomplishments. But she did not provide an estimate on how much the plan could cost during the briefing.
“All of this when it comes to cost will also depend on how many of the loans canceled were actually expected to be repaid, it will depend on how many borrowers actually take up this opportunity before we have a real sense,” she said.