Biden Attempts To Get Around SCOTUS on Loan Cancellations

The president is desperately trying to motivate young voters to come out in November.

What’s happening: President Joe Biden is trying to find a way to eliminate student loan debt for millions of Americans after the Supreme Court blocked his first attempt last year.

Why it matters: Young voters are not excited about voting for Biden in November. Desperate moves like eliminating student debt could bolster Biden's support among that crucial demographic.

Blocked before: The president previously tried to eliminate $10,000 in student debt for all federal loan holders, which would have affected about 40 million people. The Supreme Court blocked the measure in a 6-3 ruling, writing that the executive’s application of the measure was overly broad.

New plan: Since the 2022 Supreme Court ruling, Biden has found different ways to “forgive” student debt, totaling around $153 billion in cancellations. The new plan would impact up to 30 million Americans who fit into various categories.

  • New reasoning: The White House claims the Higher Education Act would permit the Education Secretary to waive loans for borrowers whose debt increased due to unpaid interest.

  • Detractors: Biden is already being challenged in court by a coalition of 17 state Attorneys General arguing that he does not have the authority to cancel debt for so many individuals.

Tilting at windmills: By May 2020, Biden led Trump among under-30 voters by 23 points; now, his lead is only 8. While Democrats are assuming the drop in support is due to the war in Gaza, an analysis of the data shows Biden was unpopular with that group far before the October 7 massacre. Gaining the support of youth voters may require more than dubious efforts to waive loans.

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