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Biden announces plan to appeal Supreme Court after student loan forgiveness ruling

Biden announces plan to appeal Supreme Court after student loan forgiveness ruling

After the Supreme Court’s dismissal of his student loan forgiveness plan, President Biden quickly proposed an alternative solution. On Friday, he announced his intention to implement a separate initiative to relieve student debt under the Higher Education Act of 1965.

“Today’s decision has closed a path. Now we’re going to pursue another,” Biden said from the White House. “We’re going to use every tool at our disposal to get the student debt relief you need and achieve your dreams.”

Before the SCOTUS decision, prominent Democrats, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, had repeatedly encouraged Biden to consider that option should the Supreme Court strike down his original tax relief program. student loans

The president acknowledged that this alternative approach will likely require a longer implementation period. To provide immediate relief, Biden unveiled an interim plan designed to help those who may struggle with paying bills when loan payments resume in October after a three-year suspension.

The president’s proposed temporary solution is a 12-month “ramped repayment program” aimed at protecting many borrowers from defaulting on their loans.

Reacting to the Supreme Court ruling, Biden reaffirmed his commitment to student debt relief. He assured that his administration would use all available resources to help fulfill the dreams of indebted students.

The president’s original student debt relief plan was based on the Higher Education Relief Opportunity Act of 2003. That Act mandates an existing emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, as a prerequisite for to student loan debt cancellation.

In contrast, the Higher Education Act does not require these conditions and has previously been used to write off student debt in certain cases. In 2019, then-President Donald Trump used this law to eliminate the student loan debt of 25,000 disabled veterans. Also, last year, the Department of Education forgave $6 billion in student loans that had been defrauded.

However, using the Higher Education Act to create a relief plan can be a time-consuming task, primarily because of the lengthy rulemaking process and comment period that could extend to about a year. That process potentially postpones any potential relief until at least 2024, with legal challenges from opponents potentially extending that delay even further.

During a news conference Friday, Biden acknowledged that figuring out how to manage those expenses could be a slow process for borrowers. He stressed the importance of preventing borrowers from falling into default and default, which could have adverse implications for them and the economy.

While Biden did not directly criticize the Supreme Court in his speech, he did highlight other student loan initiatives that were not challenged in court. These include increasing Pell grants for low- and middle-income students and an income-based repayment plan that could lower monthly payments and offer some loan forgiveness.

The president conceded Thursday, however, that the current court would likely continue to issue adverse rulings, but reiterated his opposition to adding justices to the nine-member body.

“I think they can do too much damage,” Biden said of the court during an interview with MSNBC.

“But I think if we start the process of trying to expand the court, we’re going to politicize it, maybe forever, in a way that’s not healthy.”

Instead, the president and some of his allies have begun framing the 2024 election as an existential battle to preserve the fundamental rights, not only of a Republican opponent, but also of powerful jurists with life appointments.

Despite setbacks in the 2022 midterms, several Republican candidates appear eager to engage in a political debate about the courts, an institution that has long energized conservative voters for its far-reaching impact on cultural issues.

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