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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

The Biden administration announced Thursday it would erase student loan debt for over 323,000 borrowers who have permanent, severe disabilities and have limited incomes as a result.

Why it matters: The move will effectively eliminate nearly $5.8 billion of student debt.

  • The Department of Education further announced that they would "indefinitely" extend a policy that says borrowers won't have to disclose information on their earnings.
  • Current rules require borrowers to prove their income in order to stop paying loans, but thousands of people had their loans reinstated because they failed to prove their earnings, AP reports.

The big picture: Prominent Democratic lawmakers continue to call on the administration to relieve student debt, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who requested that Biden cancel as much as $50,000 of student loan debt per borrower.

What they're saying: “We’ve heard loud and clear from borrowers with disabilities and advocates about the need for this change and we are excited to follow through on it,” Cardona said in a statement.

  • "This change reduces red tape with the aim of making processes as simple as possible for borrowers who need support," he continued.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated to clarify that the moratorium on student loan payments was extended until next January.

Go deeper

McConnell’s done dealing

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) walks to a meeting with Senate Republicans at the U.S. Capitol. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

Less than 24 hours after Congress narrowly avoided a government shutdown, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) made a point of trying to spin the narrative to his party's favor, telling President Biden via letter that Republicans will not assist again if Democrats "drift into another avoidable crisis."

Why it matters: For months, McConnell refused to budge over his insistence that Democrats suspend the debt limit through the budget reconciliation process. Crisis was averted Thursday night after McConnell struck a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to raise the debt ceiling, and nailed down enough GOP senators to pass the agreement.

First person charged with COVID relief loan fraud sentenced to prison

Photo Illustration of U.S currency. Photo by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The first person charged with fraudulently seeking pandemic relief loans was sentenced to 56 months in federal prison on Thursday, according to the Justice Department.

Why it matters: The DOJ has increasingly cracked down on fraud stemming from the Paycheck Protection Program. Over 500 people have been charged with pandemic loan fraud, per Reuters.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP senator calls for senility test for aging leaders

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a physician, told me during an "Axios on HBO" interview that he favors cognition tests for aging leaders of all three branches of government.

Why it matters: Wisdom comes with age. But science also shows that we lose something. And much of the world is now run by old people — including President Biden, 78 ... Speaker Pelosi, 81 ...  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, 70 ... and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 79.

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