On Friday, President Joe Biden announced additional measures to bring student loan relief to Americans and blasted the United States Supreme Court for blocking a plan to cancel hundreds of billions of dollars in debt, which was popular with his followers. The plan would have cancelled the debt. Biden’s announcement came on the same day.
President Joe Biden announced to the press that his administration would pursue student loan relief via a new route, the Higher Education Act. The Department of Education has begun the “rulemaking” process for new regulations, which is expected to take several months.
The Supreme Court rejected President Biden’s proposal to forgive $430 billion in student loan debt earlier on Friday in a decision that was split 6-3. The verdict, which was applauded by Republicans, posed a risk of destroying a portion of the policy programme that had been crafted by the Democratic president.
Biden stated that his government would look into alternative approaches to accomplishing its aim.
“Because of today’s judgement, one door has been shut. “Now we’re going to start another,” Joe Biden said to the press. “I feel the judgement of the court to strike down my student debt relief programme was a mistake, and I believe that it was wrong. I have no intention of giving up the struggle to ensure that borrowers, particularly those at the lower end of the economic scale, receive what they require.
The United States Department of Education has finalised a programme that will cut the amount of monthly payments that borrowers with undergraduate loans have to make from 10% of their discretionary income to 5% of that income. According to the administration, this will help the borrowers save an additional $1,000 each year.
As a benefit geared towards assisting people who have graduated from community colleges, student loan forgiveness would be made available to borrowers with debt of $12,000 or less after only 10 years of payments, compared to the current requirement of 20 years.
The White House has been under pressure from progressive voters, who were a part of the coalition that helped elect Biden in 2020; the court’s decision exacerbated calls for more action. Progressive voters are a part of the coalition that helped elect Biden in 2020.
After the Supreme Court’s decision and before President Joe Biden spoke, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, a prominent figure in the progressive movement, stated on Twitter that “the President has more tools to cancel student debt—and he must use them.”
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive Democrat in the House, has encouraged Joe Biden to use the authorities granted to him by the Higher Education Act to continue forgiving student loans even after payments have resumed following a temporary halt. On Twitter, she made the following statement: “We still have the power to cancel, and we must use it; otherwise, we’re looking at an economic crisis for millions of people.”
A poll conducted by Reuters and Ipsos earlier this year found that approximately 53% of people in the United States approved Joe Biden’s initial proposal to cancel student loans, while 81% of Democrats favoured the proposal.
Democrats want voters to see President Joe Biden fighting for student debt relief prior to his re-election bid in 2024. They are hoping that conservative rulings from the court on debt relief, affirmative action, or race-conscious college admission considerations will galvanise them in the same way that the court’s ruling to strike down abortion rights galvanised them in 2022. In 2022, the court’s ruling to strike down abortion rights galvanised Democrats.
The White House has made it abundantly apparent that it will be pointing the finger of blame at Republicans for stymieing efforts to provide relief for student loans. Biden attacked Republican government figures for backing billions of dollars in loans connected to the epidemic that were subsequently forgiven but not supporting student debt relief. Biden was referring to the fact that these loans were made to corporations.
During a conference with reporters, the Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, provided a list of a few Republican lawmakers, whom he named, who had together had millions of dollars worth of pandemic-related loans cancelled. Cardona also named the lawmakers.
Republicans complained that Biden’s initial plan to relieve the burden of student loans was unfair and violated the Constitution.
“Biden’s student loan bailout unfairly punished Americans who already paid off their loans, saved for college, or made a different career choice,” said Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), in a statement. The Supreme Court’s decision that this was a clear attempt to steal votes did not deceive the American people, and we are grateful for that.