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Biden offers new student debt relief plan, lashes out at GOP after Supreme Court ruling

by Madison Thomas
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student debt relief plan

Biden Unveils New Student Debt Relief Plan, Criticizes GOP Following Supreme Court Ruling

President Joe Biden declared on Friday his determination to forge ahead with a fresh initiative that offers student loan relief to millions of borrowers, while placing blame on Republican “hypocrisy” for triggering the Supreme Court’s decision that invalidated his original effort.

Biden stated that his administration had already initiated the process of working under the authority of the Higher Education Act of 1965, which he deemed “the most viable path remaining to provide debt relief to as many borrowers as possible.”

Meanwhile, in anticipation of the resumption of student loan payments in the fall, the White House is establishing a “transition period” for repayment and implementing measures to alleviate the risk of default for borrowers who may fall behind over the next year.

In other news:

  • A roundup of events that did not occur this week.
  • Explaining the impact of the Supreme Court’s student loan decision on individuals.
  • The Supreme Court rejects Biden’s $400 billion student loan debt cancellation plan.
  • Biden discusses topics ranging from the Supreme Court and Russia to the media and McCain in a rare network interview.

The President acknowledged that the new programs would take longer than his initial effort to alleviate student loan debt. During a press briefing at the White House, Biden urged borrowers who are frustrated with the court’s ruling to hold Republicans responsible. By attributing staunch opposition to student loan forgiveness to the GOP, Biden’s reelection campaign aims to maintain the issue as a point of strength in the short term. However, this may provide little consolation to the 43 million Americans who benefited from the initial program and now must wait for its replacement to materialize.

“We do not want to burden ourselves with lifelong debt to enhance our education,” stated Voters of Tomorrow, an organization led by Gen Z that champions the power of young Americans, in a statement.

The White House’s efforts to forgive loans were intended to fulfill a campaign promise made by Biden during the 2020 election to eliminate student loan debt. This idea was particularly popular among young voters and progressives. Both demographics will be crucial for the President’s reelection campaign next year, but they may be less enthusiastic about supporting him after the Supreme Court’s decision.

Wisdom Cole, the national director of the NAACP Youth & College Division, emphasized that Black Americans played a significant role in Biden’s election and, therefore, he has an obligation to “complete the task” by fulfilling his promises of relief for borrowers.

“It will have a tremendous impact on the upcoming election,” Cole said, adding, “If we fail to do this, we perpetuate the cycle of witnessing our elected leaders make promises and fail to follow through.”

According to a May poll conducted by The Big Big News-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 43% of U.S. adults approve of Biden’s approach to handling student debt, which aligns with his overall approval rating of 40% in the same poll.

The poll suggests that Biden garners credit for his handling of the issue, particularly among young adults. Fifty-three percent of individuals under 30 years old expressed approval of Biden’s approach to student debt, compared to only 36% who approved of his overall job performance.

Senior administration officials revealed that Biden’s top advisers have been meeting frequently to prepare for a Supreme Court ruling on student loans. They have also engaged with advocates and allies in Congress. Following Friday’s decision, Biden met with his top advisers and instructed them to promptly initiate the implementation of a new loan plan.

The White House asserts that its new efforts will withstand future legal challenges, even with the Supreme Court’s current conservative majority of 6-3. However, the administration maintains that its original plan was legal.

Biden expressed displeasure at suggestions that his efforts to alleviate student loan burdens unnecessarily raised borrowers’ hopes.

“I did not provide false hope,” he asserted. “Republicans snatched away the hope that was given to them.”

The political stakes are especially high since progressive Democrats in Congress and activists have been urging the administration to present an alternative to Biden’s original student loan plan for months, apprehensive that the Supreme Court would ultimately block the president’s initial efforts.

Many progressives argued that the Higher Education Act was the optimal approach from the beginning, although the administration was concerned that its implementation might have been slower if the act had been employed initially.

The new approach employs a provision that permits Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to “compromise, waive, or release” student loans. The Biden administration previously used the same basis last year to forgive $6 billion in loans for borrowers who were deceived by their colleges.

The specifics of the new forgiveness plan will be determined through a federal rulemaking process initiated by the administration on Friday. This process enables the Department of Education to draft or modify federal regulations with the force of law.

However, there is no guarantee that the plan will withstand another legal challenge. While the Higher Education Act has been used to cancel student debt, it has never been done on this scale. Lawyers for the Trump administration concluded in 2021 that the education secretary “does not have the statutory authority to provide blanket or mass cancellation” under the act.

The GOP has consistently argued that repaying student loans is a matter of fairness, and numerous prominent Republicans celebrated Friday’s ruling. Betsy DeVos, who served as Secretary of Education under President Donald Trump, described Biden’s original plan as “deeply unfair to the majority of Americans who do not have student loans.”

Republicans currently vying for the party’s presidential nomination in 2024 rallied behind the decision, with former Vice President Mike Pence expressing his satisfaction that the court invalidated the “radical left’s effort to use the money of taxpayers who played by the rules and repaid their debts to cancel the debt of bankers and lawyers in New York, San Francisco, and Washington.”

During his speech at the Moms for Liberty conference in Philadelphia on Friday, Trump criticized Biden’s student loan efforts as “a means of attempting to buy votes, nothing more.” Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley stated that the Supreme Court was “right to reject Joe Biden’s power grab.”

After Biden announced his response, some Republicans swiftly rejected it.

“Once again, taxpayers have been taken advantage of by this administration,” remarked Representative Virginia Foxx, a Republican from North Carolina. “Today, President Biden declared that taxpayers will be compelled to finance the most expensive regulation in our nation’s history.”


This report includes contributions from Big Big News writers Chris Megerian and Collin Binkley.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about student debt relief plan

What is President Biden’s new student debt relief plan?

President Biden has introduced a new plan aimed at providing relief for student loan borrowers. The plan seeks to address the issue of student debt and fulfill his campaign promise to alleviate the burden on borrowers.

How does President Biden respond to the Supreme Court ruling on his original student loan relief effort?

President Biden criticized the Supreme Court ruling and blamed Republican “hypocrisy” for the decision. He expressed his determination to continue pursuing student loan relief through alternative means, utilizing the authority granted by the Higher Education Act.

Will the new student debt relief plan take longer to implement compared to the original effort?

Yes, according to President Biden, the new programs may take longer to ease student loan debt compared to his initial plan. However, the administration is actively working to implement the new plan and provide relief for borrowers.

How does the Supreme Court ruling affect student loan borrowers?

The Supreme Court ruling invalidated President Biden’s original effort to provide student loan debt cancellation. As a result, borrowers who were expecting relief from their student loans will now have to wait for the new plan to be implemented.

What impact does the Supreme Court ruling have on the 2024 election and President Biden’s reelection campaign?

The Supreme Court’s ruling undermines a key promise made by President Biden, which may affect his support among young voters and progressives who were enthusiastic about student loan debt cancellation. The ruling also puts the issue of student debt relief in focus for the upcoming 2024 election.

More about student debt relief plan

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4 comments

LoanStruggler July 1, 2023 - 9:32 am

i dunno, i feel lik biden raisd our hopes wit his 1st effort. it’s frustratng to wait mor nd deal wit all ths debt. but i undrstand he’s tryin. jst wish he cud do mor 4 us. #StudentDebt #Patience

Reply
debtfreeme2024 July 1, 2023 - 8:02 pm

finally, we get a prez who cares abt studnt debt! but dang, ths ruling by suprem court is a blow. biden shldnt giv up, he has my vote in 2024! #StudentDebtRelief

Reply
CleverReader July 1, 2023 - 8:04 pm

Wow, Biden realli gav it to GOP afta the supreme court thing! his plan sound promisng, but yea, it wil take time. i just hop ths new 1 wil help us studnts in the end. #Biden2024 #StudentLoans

Reply
Joe23 July 1, 2023 - 10:21 pm

biden’s plan 4 studnt debt relief is a big deal! abt time sum1 did smthng abt this issue. GOP shud stop bing hypocrites nd think abt wrkng & middle class amrkins. thnk u, biden!

Reply

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