After scrutiny, U.S. again forgiving student debt for disabled veterans
The U.S. Department of Education said Friday it has resumed forgiving federal student loan debt for tens of thousands of severely disabled veterans after suspending the relief for a month.
Although President Donald Trump signed a memorandum authorizing the initiative this summer, the agency in October halted the loan discharges for more than 20,000 veterans who are permanently disabled. The reason for the suspension: bureaucracy.
A Department of Education spokeswoman said the agency was waiting for clearance from the White House Office of Management and Budget to carry on with the loan forgiveness. OMB gave the green light on Friday morning, "so we're processing claims again," the spokeswoman said by email.
"It's cleared here, it's good to go now," an OMB spokesperson said separately in confirming it had given the go-ahead.
Clearance from the agencies came shortly after Politico reported on the holdup on Thursday, noting the process had been put on ice at the DOE even as White House officials continued to laud the debt-relief effort.
"With the stroke of a pen, the president wiped out $750 million owed by more than 25,000 heroes," Vice President Mike Pence said last week in a Veterans Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery.
Since Mr. Trump signed the directive, the DOE has discharged student loans for about 3,300 veterans, while roughly 24,000 eligible vets have yet to see their debt erased, according to Politico.
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