On Friday, President Joe Biden announced further measures to assist Americans with their student loans. He also expressed his criticism of the United States Supreme Court’s rejection of a program designed to provide up to $20,000 in relief to numerous borrowers burdened by significant debt.
The Supreme Court’s decision was reached with a 6-7 vote.
After the decision was released, Biden tweeted, “We’re announcing a new path to provide student debt relief to as many borrowers as possible, as quickly as possible.”
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel released a statement saying, “Biden’s student loan bailout unfairly punished Americans who already paid off their loans, saved for college or made a different career choice. Americans saw right through this desperate vote grab, and we are thankful that the Supreme Court did as well.”
Even Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) argued that Biden did not have the authority to forgive debt. In 2021, she made a statement saying, “People think that the president of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness. He does not. He can postpone. He can delay. But he does not have that power. That has to be an act of Congress.”
In a statement, President Biden expressed his belief that the decision was “wrong.”
Biden said, “Today’s decision has closed one path. Now we’re going to start another. I believe the court’s decision to strike down my student debt relief program was a mistake, was wrong. I’m not going to stop fighting to deliver borrowers what they need, particularly those at the bottom end of the economic scale.”
During an interview with reporters, Biden announced that his administration will pursue the cancellation of $430 billion in student loan debt through an alternative approach: the Higher Education Act.
First, I'm announcing a new path to provide student debt relief to as many borrowers as possible, as quickly as possible, grounded in the Higher Education Act.
Just moments ago, @SecCardona took the first official step to initiate this new approach.
We aren’t wasting any time.
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 30, 2023
This new strategy comes in response to the obstacles faced due to the conservative-leaning court. Starting from October 1, the Education Department will initiate a lengthy regulatory “rulemaking” process, during which individuals with student loan debt will not face default for late or missed payments.
Progressive voters, who played a significant role in supporting Biden’s reelection in 2020, have consistently urged the White House to address the issue of student loan debt. The recent ruling by the court has intensified the demand for further action.