Student loan forgiveness is, as for the past several years, a political firestorm and a point of national division.
President Joe Biden’s administration has a plan to ease or erase the student debt of up to 43 million people, approximately one in eight Americans. Sixteen million applications have been approved, and another ten million more have applied, but all relief is currently on hold. In the way are two cases challenging the plan before the Supreme Court. And the current Supreme Court seems likely to block it.
“The president still has the responsibility to ensure that we see this become a reality,” said Wisdom Cole, national director of the NAACP Youth and College Division. “There are folks that are still suffering, and we want to ensure that they have the opportunity to see relief.”
The Supreme Court heard arguments about student loan forgiveness this week. The Republican-appointed majority of justices have been openly skeptical of the plan, but they are not meant to vote on the merits of the executive order, but only whether or not it is in the President’s power to issue it.
“I’m confident we’re on the right side of the law,” Biden told reporters Wednesday at the White House. “I’m not confident about the outcome of the decision.”
“Currently, the only thing blocking that plan is opponents of the plan suing us,” Biden said at another event.
“They’re the same folks who had hundreds of thousands of dollars, even millions of dollars, in pandemic relief loans forgiven,” he said. “And many of them in Congress, by the way, Republicans, who voted for tax cuts (that) overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest people in America, who are the people who paid to bring these suits.”
The right wing is lambasting the student loan forgiveness plan as an attempt to buy the votes of tens of millions of young, educated voters, but it’s a weak argument, as that demographic votes heavily left anyway.