President Donald Trump Wednesday evening signed an executive order to facilitate eliminating student debt for any permanently disabled U.S. veterans.
“The debt of these disabled veterans will be completely erased,” Trump said during a speech at the American Veterans National Convention in Louisville, Ky., reports Fox News. “That’s hundreds of millions of dollars of student loans debt for our disabled veterans that will be completely erased.”
Following the speech, he signed the order and tweeted about the news:
"It was my honor to sign a Presidential Memorandum facilitating the cancellation of student loan debt for 25K of our most severely disabled Veterans,” Trump wrote. “With today’s order, we express the everlasting love & loyalty of a truly grateful Nation. God bless our Vets, & God Bless America!”
According to Fox News,
The order, which Trump signed following a speech at the American Veterans National Convention in Louisville, Ky., also clears those eligible veterans from having to pay any federal income tax on the loans. Trump added that he is pressuring individual states to follow suit.
The memo Trump signed directs the government to develop an ‘expedited’ process so veterans can have their federal student loan debt discharged ‘with minimal burdens.’ Currently, just half of the roughly 50,000 disabled veterans who are qualified to have their federal student loan debt forgiven have received the benefit because of a burdensome application process.
Under the current process, disabled veterans can have their debt forgiven under a loan forgiveness program, called Total and Permanent Disability Discharge, or TPD, as long as they have a VA service-connected disability rating of 100 percent. As of July, however, only about 20 percent of the eligible pool of veterans had taken advantage of the program due to the complicated nature of the application and other factors.
The executive order comes amid rampant talk among 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls about student loan forgiveness.