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 July 6, 2023

Joe Biden still working on student debt loan forgiveness despite Supreme Court decision

President Joe Biden will once again attempt to ram through student loan forgiveness after it was struck down by the Supreme Court, the Western Journal reported. The high court ruled 6-3 that the plan was unconstitutional.

"I believe the court’s decision to strike down my student debt relief program today was a mistake, was wrong," Biden said of the ruling. "I’m not going to stop fighting to deliver borrowers what they need, particularly those at the bottom end of the economic scale," he added.

"So we need to find a new way. And we’re moving as fast as we can," the president continued.

"Today’s decision has closed one path, now we’re going to pursue another," Biden promised. In a move curiously timed just ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, Biden proposed a student loan forgiveness program that would eliminate up to $20,000 in loans for certain borrowers.

With his reelection bid on the horizon, Biden is promising to take another crack at the handout. The White House announced that the president was working with Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to implement a "new rulemaking process" laid out in the 1965 Higher Education Act.

It confers the power to "compromise, waive or release" student debt to the secretary of education and allows for a process known as negotiated rulemaking, which involves gathering interested parties to find a consensus. According to former Trump administration education official Michael Brickman, this could take up to two years to hash out and demonstrates Biden's disregard for the law.

"The Supreme Court has told them no, and yet they’re undeterred," Brickman said. “I’m sure there’s a population out there that really admires that. But at some point the Constitution is the Constitution, and you have to just kind of accept that."

The details of the proposed plan include suspending monthly repayments for those making below 225% of the poverty level, which works out to about $15 an hour or minimum wage in some places. Borrowers are also encouraged to sign up for the Saving on a Valuable Education plan which is very generous to borrowers.

This gives them the ability to miss payments and not be penalized as long as they enroll between October 1, 2023, and September 30, 2024. As good as this all sounds for borrowers, Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Caleb Kruckenberg believes this plan is a step in the wrong direction.

The fact that it applies to so many borrowers makes it costly and makes loan forgiveness possible in just a decade. "In other words, while styled as a rule that simply tinkers with the details of existing income-based repayment programs, it effectively does the same work as the cancellation effort: It writes off the debts of millions of college-educated borrowers," he wrote for the New York Post.

Kruckenberg also said it "does so permanently" and could be as much as $361 billion in costs over a decade by Penn Wharton Budget Model predictions. "Estimates that account for tuition inflation and future borrowing costs put government expenditures as high as $1 trillion," he wrote.

“[I]f the Education Department truly has the power to set any terms for repayment it sees fit, even if it means spending a trillion dollars of taxpayer money, then Congress has unlawfully given away its legislative power and allowed spending without proper appropriations,” Kruckenberg wrote. "As we celebrate the death of formal debt cancellation and a win for checks and balances, we need to get ready for an even more critical fight over IDR," he wrote.

"Without judicial intervention, not only is the soundness of the entire student-loan system in jeopardy, but the very structure of the Constitution is, once again, under attack." Kruckenberg is right, but Biden doesn't care.

Student loan forgiveness is something Biden is intent on getting through since it's a way to buy votes. It doesn't matter to him that it may be illegal and is certainly immoral as long as he has what he needs to get reelected.

Written By:
Christine Favocci

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