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Biden says he’s not confident Supreme Court will clear student loan forgiveness plan


President Biden on Wednesday said he’s not confident that the Supreme Court will decide to clear his student loan forgiveness plan, while the majority-conservative court weighs the case.

“I’m confident we’re on the right side of the law. I’m not confident about the outcome of the decision yet,” the president told reporters at the White House.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday on challenges to his student loan plan, which would eliminate up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt for millions of Americans.

Biden and the White House have consistently expressed confidence in the legal authority for the president to implement the plan through executive action. And, the White House this week has shied away from discussing any alternative or a “plan B” if the Supreme Court strikes it down.

“The plan that we put forward in August is the plan that we have, which is also a plan that you heard the solicitor general really defend in a strong and powerful way yesterday. And that’s our plan, and we believe in our legal authority to get that done and get that implemented,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Wednesday.

U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar represented the Biden administration at the Supreme Court this week and attempted to fend off challenges from six GOP-led states as well as separate challenges from two individuals.

“Our focus right now is getting this done. You saw the solicitor general really give a strong argument yesterday in front of the highest court in the land. There’s a reason we took it to the Supreme Court,” Jean-Pierre added on Wednesday.

The question that will decide the fate of Biden’s plan is if Congress clearly gave authority for the executive branch to forgive debts through the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act. The White House has pointed to the law repeatedly throughout the last six months because it gives the Education secretary the authority to “waive or modify” federal student financial assistance programs when deemed necessary in connection with a national emergency. 

The Biden administration has tied the relief to the emergency established during the pandemic.

The Supreme Court’s decision on the case may not come out until May or June, which is typically when the court tends to give its most controversial decisions.

Source: The Hill

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