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  • Alyssa Spencer

Biden Plans to Circumvent SCOTUS on Student Loan Decision

Updated: Jul 4, 2023

Ivuskans, G. (2022). Joe Biden, President of USA, during press conference, after NATO Extraordinary Summit. Brussels, Belgium [photograph]. Deposit Photos.

The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 on Friday the President of the United States does not possess the power to forgive federal student loan debts. The President laid out his plan last year to forgive federal student loan debt, which has received a lot of pushback and legal challenges from conservatives. President Biden expressed his anger towards the court's decision to strike down his plan on Friday, June 30th, in this statement: "This program was all set to begin. The website had been set up. The applications had been simplified, taking less than five minutes to complete. Notices had been sent out to people about the relief they were eligible for. Sixteen million people — sixteen million people had already been approved. The money was literally about to go out the door. And then, Republican elected officials and special interests stepped in. They said no — "no" — snatching from the hands of millions of Americans thousands of dollars in student debt relief that was about to change their lives."

President Biden didn't stop there; he also suggested on Friday that he is looking at new avenues to circumvent the Supreme Court's ruling. Biden's new plan is to try to use the 1965 Higher Education Act (HEA) to enact federal student loan forgiveness. Biden described this new avenue in his Friday statement: "First, 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. We will ground this new approach in a different law than my original plan, the so-called Higher Education Act. That will allow Secretary Cardona, who is with me today, to compromise, waive, or release loans under certain circumstances. This new path is legally sound. It will take longer, but I believe it's the best path to provide for as many borrowers as possible with debt relief. I've directed my team to move as quickly as possible under the law. Just moments ago, Secretary Cardona took the first step to initially that — to initiate that new approach."

What remains to be seen is whether or not Biden's plan B will be able to withstand future challenges to its merits and questionable legality.


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