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Biden to wipe out $7.4B more student debt despite federal lawsuits

Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona (left) and President Joe Biden (right) Associated Press/Photo by Evan Vucci

Biden to wipe out $7.4B more student debt despite federal lawsuits

U.S. President Joe Biden plans to wipe student debt for 277,000 more Americans, according to a Friday release from the White House. Borrowers enrolled in the SAVE Plan and Income-Driven Repayment plans, or who receive Public Service Loan Forgiveness are eligible for this round of debt cancellation. The White House had outlined the plans on Monday. The Biden administration now claims that 4.3 million Americans have received debt forgiveness totaling $153 billion since he entered office in 2021.

Didn’t the Supreme Court already settle that he can’t do this? The 81-year-old president continues to promise and plan student loan forgiveness even after the Supreme Court blocked his administration’s original $400 billion loan cancellation plan last year. The White House has been using preestablished avenues for debt relief, like the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. The administration has also enacted more contentious methods of forgiveness, like the SAVE Plan, enacted late last year. Biden will never stop working to cancel student debt, he said Friday morning on social media.

How has the opposition responded? Speaker of the House Mike Johnson this week led Republicans in criticizing Biden for making Americans pay debts to which the students legally agreed to cover. Meanwhile, inflation rises and the country carries $34 trillion in national debt, Johnson said. Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton accused Biden of ignoring the Supreme Court’s order and raiding the national treasury to buy votes in the upcoming election. Biden wants nearly 90 percent of Americans to pay for debts accrued by only 13 percent of people, wrote Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville. The senator characterized the president’s action as a bid for votes from Gen Z and Millennial voters.

How are these plans being legally opposed? Biden’s Friday announcement came just days after seven states filed a joint federal lawsuit against the Biden administration’s SAVE Plan, accusing the president of side-stepping the Constitution by illegally saddling Americans with debt. Tuesday’s lawsuit mirrors another federal complaint filed by 11 states last month, alleging Biden’s student loan scheme was ruled illegal by the Supreme Court and remains unconstitutional. 

Dig deeper: Listen to Nick Eicher and David L. Bahnsen’s report on The World and Everything in It podcast examining Biden’s billion-dollar loan cancellations in February.

Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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