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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Senate version of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, which cleared the chamber Saturday, was amended to remove taxes on forgiven student loan debt through 2025, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: The provision, which was included by Democrats this week, paves the way for President Biden to forgive student debt without burdening thousands of Americans with a new tax. Biden has resisted calls from Democrats to do so via executive action, urging Congress to pass legislation instead.

  • Federal law usually treats forgiven debt as taxable income. Biden's pledge to forgive up to $10,000 in debt per individual would have increased "the tax bills of many households by a larger amount than the monthly payments they would have paid on the debt for that year," former Obama administration official Adam Looney tells the Journal.

Where it stands: The House is now expected to pass the bill for President Biden to sign it into law.

  • The government will lose some $44 million in revenue because of the provision, WSJ writes, citing the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.

Details: All federal student loans are eligible, including state education loans, institutional loans, private student loans and private parent loans.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to remove a reference to Biden promising to forgive student debt through executive action.

Go deeper

Top general: Calls to China were "perfectly within the duties" of job

Gen. Mark Milley. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley told the Associated Press on Friday that calls with his Chinese counterpart during the final months of Donald Trump's presidency were "perfectly within the duties and responsibilities" of his job.

Why it matters: In his first public comments on the calls that have prompted critics to question whether the general went too far, Milley maintained that such conversations are "routine," per AP.

The consumer's massive "war chest"

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Economists expect the pace of economic growth to cool off now that government transfer payments like stimulus checks and emergency unemployment benefits are in the rearview mirror. But evidence suggests that the U.S. consumer is sitting on a lot of financial firepower that could be a key driver of growth in the quarters to come.

Why it matters: U.S. consumer spending is massive, representing about 70% of GDP.

The Fed takes on its own rules amid stock trading controversy

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

New disclosures that showed Fed officials were active in financial markets set off a firestorm of criticism. Now the Fed may overhaul the long-standing rules that allow those transactions.

Why it matters: What officials actively traded was sensitive to the Fed decisions they helped shape, including the unprecedented support that underpinned a massive financial market boom.