President Joe Biden has vowed to push ahead with a new plan providing student loan relief for millions of borrowers while blaming Republican “hypocrisy” for triggering the day’s Supreme Court (SC) decision that wiped out his original effort, Will Weissert and Colleen Long reported for the Associated Press (AP).
Photo Insert: The US Department of Education
Biden said his administration had already begun the process of working under the authority of the Higher Education Act of 1965, which he called “the best path that remains to provide as many borrowers as possible with debt relief.”
In the meantime, since student loan-payment requirements are to resume in the fall, the White House is creating an “on ramp” to repayment and implementing ways to ease borrowers’ threat of default if they fall behind over the next year.
The president said the new programs will take longer than his initial effort would have to ease student loan debt.
Biden said borrowers now angry about the court’s decision should blame Republicans. He is trying to stay on the political offensive even as the ruling undermined a key promise to young voters who will be vital to his 2024 reelection campaign.
“These Republican officials just couldn’t bear the thought of providing relief for working class, middle class Americans,” Biden said. “The hypocrisy of Republican elected officials is stunning.”
Trying to place staunch opposition to student loan forgiveness on the GOP could allow Biden’s reelection campaign to maintain the issue as one of strength in the short term.
But that may ultimately offer little solace to 43 million Americans who benefited from the initial program and will now have to wait for its replacement to take shape.
“We do not want to go into excruciating debt for our entire lives to enhance our education,” Voters of Tomorrow, a Gen Z-led organization that promotes the power of young Americans, said in a statement, Chris Megerian and Collin Binkley also reported for AP.