President Donald Trump announced a plan that will forgive federal student loan debt for permanently and totally disabled U.S. veterans. News of the executive order was made public during his appearance at the 75th annual American Veterans National Convention in Louisville, K.Y. , and was followed by a live signing of the executive action.
"You fought courageously for your country, and now we’re fighting courageously for you," Trump told the crowd of veterans. In the address, Trump vowed to discharge every penny of student loan debt automatically for an approximate 25,000 disabled American veterans—which averages around $30,000, according to Connecting Vets.
“The debt of these disabled veterans will be entirely erased, it will be gone. Sleep well tonight,” Trump went on to say in his speech. “We are restoring the fundamental principle that government’s first obligation, and highest loyalty, is to our own citizens.”
Assuming if all 25,000 veterans had $30,000 of student loan debt eliminated, that would mean a $750 million increase to the deficit. It is an amount that certainly isn’t pocket change, but it appears to be a drop in the bucket when compared to the Congressional Budget Office’s estimated $960 billion deficit for 2019.
It is also a fraction of the national student loan debt amount—$1.6 trillion—the largest non-mortgage debt in the U.S.
How this new policy will be paid for has yet to be determined, nor have any stipulations been revealed regarding whether this order applies to veterans who are in the process of going back to school. However, the disabled veterans of America can now focus on healing without the burden of past student loan debt.
“No one deserves the blessings of freedom more than the heroes who risk their lives to defend it.”