Biden readies more student debt relief, Republicans prepare to stop him

Biden readies more student debt relief, Republicans prepare to stop him

The Biden administration is on track to forgive millions in student debt, possibly even before November’s election. Republicans—and likely the Supreme Court—are preparing to stop that from happening. Again.

The administration aims to wrap up rule-making on Biden’s second attempt to implement a sweeping student loan forgiveness program in October, and could fast-track implementation to have it done before the end of year. At stake is debt relief for tens of millions of borrowers: As many as 4 million people could have their entire debt canceled, 10 million would get relief of at least $5,000, and another 23 million who now owe more than they originally borrowed would have accrued interest wiped out, only having to pay on the principal debt.

That would be far too popular for Republicans to stomach. “We are proud to stand with taxpayers in demanding the Biden administration abandon plans to force all Americans to take on the debt of a select few, something the Supreme Court has already deemed unconstitutional,” Ryan Walker, executive vice president of Heritage Action for America told CNBC. (Heritage Action is of course a “sister organization” of The Heritage Foundation, the group behind the authoritarian Project 2025 blueprint for the next Trump administration.)

“Biden’s latest debt transfer gimmick is an illegal, unfair election year stunt that is backfiring—and should cost him at the ballot box,” Walker continued.

Missouri’s GOP Attorney General Andrew Bailey tweeted that Biden “is trying to unabashedly eclipse the Constitution.”

“See you in court,” Bailey wrote.

He has every expectation that the Trump-packed Supreme Court would stop Biden’s plan with an injunction before it can be implemented. In a 6-3 decision in 2023, the court allowed Missouri’s challenge to Biden’s first attempt to forgive $400 billion in student loans and struck down the program, writing that the administration exceeded its authority.

Meanwhile the administration’s Saving on Valuable Education (SAVE) plan, an income-driven repayment program to reduce monthly payments for about 8 million people, has been under attack from red states in the courts. A federal appeals court okayed the plan earlier this month, but on Tuesday, three red states asked the Supreme Court to stop it again in an emergency appeal.

Of course they want to stop it: Student debt forgiveness is a potent political issue, particularly for Gen Z and Millenials. Half of Americans support at least some relief and say it is a key issue for them in the 2023 election.

According to a recent survey from SocialSphere, reported by CNBC, 70% of Gen Z respondents said it was “very” or “somewhat” important in the election. Additionally 72% of Black voters and 68% of Hispanic voters rank it as important.

That includes 49% of Gen Z and millennial Republicans, who agreed that some or all existing debt should be wiped out.

So of course the GOP wants to stop it and will use an obviously hostile Supreme Court to do it.

RELATED STORY: Judges in 2 states halt much of Biden’s student debt forgiveness plan

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