President Donald Trump will ask Congress to provide $7 billion in federal loan forgiveness for borrowers who cancel their student loans.
The program is expected to be unveiled on Thursday, according to a senior administration official.
Trump is expected not to sign the measure, which is expected in the form of a letter to congressional leaders, but he will be asked to sign it.
The Trump administration has made clear that it is concerned about a $17 billion loan forgiveness program that was enacted by President Barack Obama’s administration, and the administration has repeatedly said it would pursue it if it was available.
The administration said Thursday that it expects the loan forgiveness to be available to nearly 200 million borrowers and that it would work with the Federal Reserve, the Department of Education and other stakeholders to ensure that the loan repayment program is fair to borrowers and provides for loan forgiveness as part of the broader economic recovery.
Trump has repeatedly expressed interest in a loan forgiveness measure, though the administration did not say whether he would sign a letter of intent for the program.
The proposal comes amid a national debate about student debt, which has exploded under Trump and his administration.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association and the National Collegial Association of State Colleges and Universities have expressed concerns that the new program would unfairly disadvantage low-income and minority students.
The bill is also expected to address student loan defaults that have been growing under Trump, including those of some colleges that defaulted on $3 billion in loans last year.
The Republican-controlled Congress and Trump have clashed over the issue, with the president saying last month that the bill would hurt the “middle class.”
The administration has said it has a “special place in hell” for schools that default on student loans, though many of the colleges it oversees have also been targeted.
A White House official said the bill does not change current law.
The current system allows students to defer payments on federal loans until their graduation.
But the new bill allows borrowers to defer all payments for two years.
The White House has said the current system is a burden on borrowers.
The president has also said he wants to see colleges pay down the federal debt, though his administration has not outlined a specific plan for doing so.
Congress has approved more than $1.4 trillion in loan forgiveness since Trump took office, according the Wall Street Journal.