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Biden Touts College Loan Relief Program At CNM

President Joe Biden greets supporters after speaking at Central New Mexico Community College
Kevin Meerschaert
President Joe Biden greets supporters after speaking at Central New Mexico Community College

President Joe Biden says student loan debt relief applications for over 16-million people will be approved by the end of the week and help would be on the way if it wasn’t for legal challenges by Republicans.

Biden was in Albuquerque for a pair of events on Thursday including a stop at Central New Mexico Community College. 
President Biden defended the program and praised New Mexico lawmakers for making college tuition free for most students.

He says applications for student loan forgiveness have been pouring into the studentaid.gov website and called it a game changer for many Americans.

Biden says at least 26-million have applied to knock $10,000 to $20,000 off of their debt. He says in New Mexico over 200,000 people have student loans and the average borrower in the state owes just over $34,000.    

Biden says the debt relief is just to make things a little easier for those who need the help.

“How much are your monthly bills?  And at the end of the month, do you have enough to pay for those bills?  And what’s left over, if anything?  There’s enough -- is there enough for just a little bit of breathing room?  As my dad used to say, just a little bit of breathing room," he said. "Folks in urban and suburban and rural and Tribal communities across the country, our student loan program is designed to give just a little more breathing room.” 

Biden called many of the Republicans who oppose the student debt relief plan hypocritical because some  of them received federal loan forgiveness during the pandemic.

Kevin Meerschaert comes to Santa Fe from Jacksonville, Florida where he spent the past 20 years covering politics, government and pretty much everything else.