In the speech at the White House, he claimed, "You know, these Republican officials just couldn't bear the thought of providing relief for working-class middle-class Americans."
"Republican state officials sued my administration attempting to block relief including millions of their own constituents," he added. "You probably think Congress voted to overturn the plan. I think everyone I don't think I had any Republicans vote for this plan."
The President went on to conflate the student debt relief plan, which would have forgiven $10,000 in Federal student loans for people that make up to $125,000 and $20,000 for those who took out Pell Grants, with the PayCheck Protection Plan program which helped small businesses owners stay afloat after the government forced them to shut down during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
"That program cost $760 billion. My program's too expensive?" he asked. " $360 billion more than I proposed on my student debt relief program. I was trying to provide students with 10 to $20,000 relief, by comparison, the average amount forgiven in the PPP pandemic loan program, the average amount forgiven was $70,000. Our kid making 60,000 bucks trying to pay back his bill asked for $10,000 a relief."
"Republicans in Congress, it's not about reducing the deficit. It's not about fairness and forgiving loans, it's only about forgiving loans they have to pay. Today the Supreme Court side with them," Biden added. "I believe the court's decision to strike down my student debt relief program was a mistake was wrong, not going to stop fighting to deliver borrowers, what they need, particularly those at the bottom end of economics scale."
The president announced a new approach his administration is looking at. He announced a 12-month "on-ramp repayment program" so that a missed payment will not hurt a borrower's credit score.
Biden announced that the payments for Income-Driven Repayment plans would be dropped to five percent of a person’s disposable income, down from 10 percent.
Biden stated that his administration would seek relief for "as many borrowers as possible as quickly as possible" under the Higher Education Act, which allows Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to "compromise, waive, or release loans under certain circumstances."
"This new path is legally sound. it’s going to take longer, but, in my view, it’s the best path that remains to provide for as many borrowers as possible with debt relief."
At the end of the conference, a reporter asked, "Mr. President. Why did you get millions of borrowers false hope you've doubted your own authority here in the past?"
"I didn't give any false hope!" Biden shot back. "The question was whether or not I would do even more than was requested. When I did I thought it was appropriate and was able to be done and would get done. I didn't give borrowers false hope. But the Republicans snatched away the hope that they were given"
Another reporter asked if he overstepped his authority. "I think the court misinterpreted the Constitution," he responded.
The Supreme Court ruled against the Department of Education on Thursday voting 6-3 to strike down the Biden administration's student loan forgiveness plan after six states sued because the HEROES Act does not authorize the Secretary of Education to cancel loan debt.
Chief Justice Justice John Roberts wrote, "The Secretary asserts that the HEROES Act grants him the authority to cancel $430 billion of student loan principal." He added, "It does not."
He wrote, "The Act allows the secretary to ‘waive or modify’ existing statutory provisions,” but not “rewrite that statute from the ground up.”
US District Judge Mark Pittman called the plan "one of the largest exercises of legislative power without congressional authority in the history of the United States" in his lower court ruling.
"In this country, we are not ruled by an all-powerful executive with a pen and a phone," Pittman wrote in his decision. "Instead, we are ruled by a Constitution that provides for three distinct and independent branches of government ... The Court is not blind to the current political division in our country. But it is fundamental to the survival of our Republic that the separation of powers as outlined in our Constitution be preserved."
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