WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Friday rooted a student debt relief plan into the Higher Education Act after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against an original plan to forgive up to $20,000 per borrower. said it was the second time.
“The court’s decision was wrong, I think it was wrong,” Biden said at the White House. “We have to find a new way and we are moving forward as quickly as possible.”
The Supreme Court on Friday ruled 6-3 against Mr. Biden’s plan to forgive up to an estimated 40 million Americans from their student loan debt. The venture would have forgiven more than $400 billion in student loan debt, making it one of the most expensive government actions in history.
Biden pointed to the green light for a paycheck protection program that cost an estimated $760 billion under former President Donald Trump.
“The hypocrisy is amazing,” Biden said. “I can’t help a family with an income of $75,000 a year, but can I help a millionaire get his debt forgiven? My plan has only changed the lives of millions of Americans.” It would have been good for the American economy as well.”
Biden also said on Friday that he directed the U.S. Department of Education to provide a 12-month “upgrade” period to allow borrowers struggling to adjust their payments after a three-year grace period for delinquent first payments. .
Mr. Biden stressed that this was not an extension of the suspension, as there would still be payments due and accrual of interest, but he said the education department would not report the first year’s non-payment to credit agencies.
Biden announced plans last summer to cancel $10,000 in student loans for borrowers earning less than $125,000 or couples earning less than $250,000. Under the proposal, Pell grant recipients were eligible for waivers of up to $20,000.
Friday’s Supreme Court ruling will send millions of student-loan borrowers back to square one as a moratorium on payments put in place early in the COVID-19 pandemic ends in October. During the moratorium, which was implemented under the Trump administration, borrowers did not have to pay their loans and accrued no interest on the loans.
Biden has accused the Supreme Court of making a mistake.
“I think the court misunderstood the Constitution,” Biden said.
It’s the second time the president has criticized a Supreme Court decision in recent days and builds on comments he made Thursday in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to deny the use of affirmative action in college admissions. . Asked by reporters if it was an “unfair court,” Mr. Biden replied, “It’s not a normal court.”
Biden appeared on MSNBC’s “Deadline: The White House” late Thursday and said the current Supreme Court “does more than any other court in recent history in unraveling fundamental rights and fundamental decisions. I did it,” he said.
“I think some people on the court are starting to see their legitimacy being questioned in ways that weren’t questioned before,” the president said.