In a 6-3 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against President Joe Biden's plan to cancel $430 billion in student loan debt.
The court ruled that the Biden administration was required to obtain Congress' approval prior to proceeding with such an expensive program. It was a decision that prompted a range of opinions from politicians representing both sides of the aisle.
For the most part, as it was expected, Democrats were not happy about the outcome, while Republicans applauded the decision.
In a noteworthy turn of events, the Court's conservative justices delivered a compelling argument by drawing upon the words of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from July 2021, a move that garnered agreement from the current Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy.
The Court's decision boldly referenced Pelosi's viewpoint, stating, "People think that the president of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness. He does not. He can postpone. He can delay. But he does not have that power. That has to be an act of Congress." McCarthy took to Twitter to express his alignment with the court and Pelosi's stance, saying, "I agree with her for once!"
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, on the other hand, called the ruling "hypocrisy."
"As justices accept lavish, six-figure gifts, they don’t dare to help Americans saddled with student loan debt, instead siding with the powerful, big-monied interests," Schumer said. "With the pause on student loan payments set to expire in weeks, the Biden administration must do everything in its power to deliver for millions of Americans struggling with student loan debt."
It's a sentiment that was shared by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who saidthis ruling "does NOT remove Biden’s ability to pursue student loan forgiveness. The Biden Admin can use the HEA (Higher Ed Act) - our position from the start - to continue loan forgiveness before payments resume. They should do so ASAP."
Meanwhile, current presidential candidate Mike Pence took the opportunity to go against the president, saying President Biden's plan to cancel student debt was an "egregious violation of the Constitution."
"I am pleased that the Court struck down the Radical Left’s effort to use the money of taxpayers who played by the rules and repaid their debts in order to cancel the debt of bankers and lawyers in New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.," said Pence. "I am honored to have played a role in appointing three of the Justices that ensured today’s welcomed decision, and as President I will continue to appoint judges who will strictly apply the law and enforce our Constitution’s separation of powers.”
Biden's plan would have directed nearly 90% of the relief to borrowers earning less than $75,000 per year, ensuring that individuals earning over $125,000 would not receive any of the aid. The president called the Court's decision "disappointing."
"The hypocrisy of Republican elected officials is stunning. They had no problem with billions in pandemic-related loans to businesses – including hundreds of thousands and in some cases millions of dollars for their own businesses. And those loans were forgiven. But when it came to providing relief to millions of hard-working Americans, they did everything in their power to stop it," President Biden said in a statement following the ruling.
President Biden is expected to speak later on Friday as he plans to announce new actions to protect student loan borrowers as he reiterated, "I will stop at nothing to find other ways to deliver relief to hard-working middle-class families."
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