President Donald Trump has signed an executive order on Wednesday afternoon to forgive disabled veterans’ student loan debt — to the tune of more than $750 million.
The order applies to approximately 25,000 “totally and permanently disabled veterans” who were previously qualified, but had not received the loan discharge, who each hold an average of $30,000 in student loans, according to a White House statement on Wednesday.
Joined by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, President Trump signs an executive order that would eliminate federal student loan debt owned by veterans who are «completely and permanently disabled» https://t.co/AfEIFrfeM5 pic.twitter.com/Ts1ZkHTHfh
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 21, 2019
Today I’m proud to announce that I am taking executive action to ensure that our wounded warriors are not saddled with mountains of student debt,” Trump said in a speech at the AMVETS National Convention in Kentucky, where he spoke ahead of the signing.
The announcement was met with a standing ovation.
Nobody can complain about that, right?” he asked the crowd.
Although tens of thousands of veterans have been declared disabled and unable to work, they were still being forced to repay their student loan debts.
The federal government was pursuing student debt payments totaling $1 billion from more than 40,000 disabled veterans who were unable to work, according to a CNBC report.
“More than 25,000 of them are in default and just 8,500 of them have applied for forgiveness,” CNBC noted.
“The debt of these disabled veterans will be entirely erased. It will be gone. They can sleep well tonight,” Trump said on Wednesday.
“Altogether, this action will wipe out an average of $30,000 in debt owed by more than 25,000 eligible veterans who have made immense sacrifices – the ultimate sacrifices in many ways for our nation,” he continued.
That’s hundreds of millions of dollars in student debt held by our severely wounded warriors. It’s gone forever,” he added.
Trump added that the veterans “who have made such enormous sacrifices for our country should not be asked to pay any more.”
In the order, Trump also directed the Departments of Education and Veterans Affairs to make it easier for disabled veterans to apply for student loan debt discharge.
“The process by which our disabled veterans apply for Federal student loan discharges is too burdensome,” the White House statement said.
The order will create “a new expedited process to help totally and permanently disabled veterans have their Federal student loan debt discharged with minimal burdens,” the statement added.