In an effort to help U.S. military veterans, President Donald Trump eliminated student loan debt for all permanently disabled veterans with an executive order Wednesday.
“The debt of these disabled veterans will be completely erased.”
Over 25,000 veterans are eligible under the action, and with an average of $30,000 per individual, the relief amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars.
“It’s gone forever,” Trump said of the debt to a raucous crowd of more than 2,500 veterans Wednesday who were there attending the American Veterans National Convention in Louisville, Ky., when he signed the order.
The action will also waive any federal income taxes on the loans for all eligible veterans. Trump mentioned that he is pressuring states to follow with their own legislation, according to Fox News.
“The debt of these disabled veterans will be completely erased,” Trump said. “That’s hundreds of millions of dollars of student loan debt for our disabled veterans that will be completely erased.”
It was my honor to sign a Presidential Memorandum facilitating the cancellation of student loan debt for 25K of our most severely disabled Veterans. With today’s order, we express the everlasting love & loyalty of a truly grateful Nation. God bless our Vets, & God Bless America! pic.twitter.com/MMMsX3RDQM
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 22, 2019
The document directs the government to develop an expedited process so eligible candidates can have the debt discharged “with minimal burdens.”
Only about half of the roughly 50,000 who qualify to have their federal student loan debt forgiven have received the benefit, and the administration blames a “burdensome” application process.
Trump also used his appearance to highlight steps the administration has taken to bolster the military, including increased spending and new equipment. He also discussed the administration’s commitment to veterans, including helping them access health care, reducing opioid addiction and minimizing suicide among those no longer in uniform.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.