During a White House press briefing on Friday, President Joe Biden responded to a question from Jacqui Heinrich, a correspondent from Fox News.
Heinrich asked the president why he had provided false hope to millions of borrowers, mentioning his previous statements expressing doubts about his authority to forgive student loan debt.
The correspondent was referring to Biden’s earlier remarks suggesting that implementing such an order might require direct legislative action from Congress.
“I didn’t give any false hope,” retorted Biden. “The question was whether or not I would do even more than was requested. What I did, I thought was appropriate and was able to be done and would get done.”
President Joe Biden refuted the claim that he gave borrowers false hope and placed blame on Republicans for undermining his Executive Order, which aimed to forgive up to $20,000 of student loan debt for eligible individuals.
The Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, declared the order unconstitutional, affirming Biden’s initial doubts about the president’s authority to cancel over $430 billion in student loan debt.
The decision would have relieved the debt of 20 million borrowers and reduced the amount owed by the remaining 23 million.
Chief Justice John Roberts stated that the debt cancellation plan exceeded the power of the Secretary of Education and required specific authorization from Congress.
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s comments on the president’s authority were also cited in the majority opinion.
Biden’s executive order, known as the HEROES Act, aimed to provide up to $10,000 in debt relief to individuals earning less than $125,000 per year.
Republicans opposed the unilateral cancellation of student loans, arguing it was unfair to those who had already repaid their loans or didn’t pursue higher education.
Despite the setback, Biden remains determined to find alternative routes for student loan relief through the Higher Education Act, as reported by Reuters.
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The Supreme Court ruling is expected to impact voter sentiments leading up to the 2024 reelection campaign, with progressive figures urging Biden to address the student loan debt issue.
However, Republicans maintain that his initial plan was both unconstitutional and unjust to those who had already repaid their loans.
As a result of the ruling, millions of borrowers are set to resume their monthly loan payments starting in October.