President Joe Biden on Friday said he’ll focus on using the Higher Education Act to protect student-loan borrowers, after the Supreme Court blocked his forgiveness plan.
Appearing at the White House, Biden said his administration would use “every tool at our disposal” to provide borrowers with relief. But he warned that using the Higher Education Act would “take longer” than his initial plan.
The high court’s decision Friday means that the White House won’t move forward with its original plan. Advocates and some lawmakers are pressuring the White House to find another way to cancel student debt en masse.
Advocates have been especially focused on one plank of the Higher Education Act they say allows the Department of Education to “compromise, waive, or release” any right to collect on student debt.
Biden, who announced his re-election campaign in April, also slammed Republicans who’d attempted to cancel his plan to forgive student debt. The president earlier this month vetoed legislation that would have done that, saying, “It is a shame for working families across the country that lawmakers continue to pursue this unprecedented attempt to deny critical relief to millions of their own constituents.”
In addition to saying his administration would look for other avenues for debt relief, Biden announced that borrowers who miss payments in the first 12 months after the pandemic payment pause ends in October won’t be considered delinquent, won’t be reported to credit bureaus, placed in default or referred to debt collectors.