After praising the sacrifices made by disabled American military veterans, President Donald Trump signed a memo Wednesday that forgives “every penny” of the federal student loan debt incurred by tens of thousands of them.
The president’s remarks came during a speech at the 75th national convention of AMVETS, a veterans organization, in Louisville, Kentucky.
“The debt of disabled veterans will be entirely erased,” Trump said, NBC News reported.
“In a few moments, I will sign a memorandum directing the Department of Education to eliminate every penny of federal student loan debt owed by American veterans who are completely and permanently disabled.”
“The debt of these disabled veterans will be entirely erased. It will be gone,” Trump added. “Sleep well tonight.”
He also took the time to recognize the sacrifices that the veterans have made for their country.
“You fought courageously for your country, and now we’re fighting courageously for you,” Trump said, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.
The president said his order would affect roughly 25,000 disabled veterans who owe $30,000 on average — veterans “who have made immense sacrifices, the ultimate sacrifice in many ways for our nation.”
“That’s hundreds of millions of dollars in student debt held by our severely wounded warriors,” Trump said. “It’s gone forever.”
“However, recent records revealed the government continues to seek repayment on $1 billion in student loans from more than 40,000 severely disabled veterans who have been deemed unable to work,” CNBC reported. “More than 25,000 of them are in default and just 8,500 of them have applied for forgiveness.”
The existing policy is essentially failing. Now, Trump is seeking to fix it.
“There is a pressing need to quickly and effectively resolve this problem,” Trump’s order states. “Therefore, my Administration will take prompt action to ensure that all totally and permanently disabled veterans are able to obtain, with minimal burden, the Federal student loan debt discharges to which they are legally entitled.”
The order directs the secretaries of the Veterans Affairs and Education departments to develop a process that will “facilitate the swift and effective discharge of the Federal student loan debt of totally and permanently disabled veterans.”
During his speech on Wednesday, Trump also highlighted his efforts to strengthen America’s armed forces.
“We’re rebuilding the awesome might of the U.S. military,” he said.
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