WASHINGTON — A frustrated President Joe Biden on Friday announced new actions for young students following the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down his student loan forgiveness program.
The court ruled in a 6-3 vote that the program was an unlawful exercise of presidential power because it was not approved by Congress.
Speaking in the Roosevelt Room for the second consecutive day, Biden vowed he is not fighting yet for the young Americans and announced several new actions to provide economic relief.
“I’m announcing today a new path consistent with today’s ruling to provide student debt relief to as many borrowers as possible as quickly as possible,” Biden said.
“We will ground this new approach in a different law than my original plan, the so-called Higher Education Act,” he added. “It will allow Secretary Cardona to compromise, waive, or release loans under certain circumstances.”
Under this new plan, financially “vulnerable” borrowers who miss payments through the end of September 2024 are not considered delinquent. Biden also announced new repayment options that would be made available to borrowers in the future but noted it will take longer than expected.
“It’s going to take longer,” the president said. “But in my view, it’s the best path that remains to provide for as many borrowers as possible with debt relief.”
Polls show that student loan forgiveness is popular among young voters ahead of the 2024 election. With payments set to resume in the fall, the White House needed to act fast with alternative options to ensure young voters they are not being forgotten.
Moments after the Court’s decision, several administration officials put the blame on Republicans and the president did the same in his remarks on Friday. Officials have stressed that Biden will continue to keep the heat on his political opponents going into 2024.
“Some of the same elected Republicans, members of Congress who strongly opposed giving relief to students, got hundreds of thousands of dollars themselves in relief,” he said.
“For Republicans in Congress, this is not about reducing the deficit, it’s not about fairness and forgiving loans, it’s only about forgiving loans they have to pay,” he added.
While several Democrats have called for expanding the Supreme Court, Biden has already stated he’s against that idea. However, the American people can expect him to be out on the campaign trail speaking against the Supreme Court and its decisions.
An NBC News poll found 46% of registered voters said they were more likely to support a candidate who supported some student loan forgiveness.
“I think the Court misinterpreted the Constitution,” Biden said.