In an address to the nation Friday afternoon, Biden said the new plan will "take longer," but aims to bring relief "to as many borrowers as possible, as quickly as possible."
"I know millions of Americans in this country who feel disappointed and discouraged and even a little bit angry about the Court's decision today on student debt, and I must admit I do too," Biden said, continuing. "We're not going to waste any time on this. We're getting moving on it. It's going to take longer, but we're getting at it right away."
Biden's new plan will involve the Higher Education Act of 1965, which can be used to establish federal aid programs — such as grants and loans — to help students pay for college.
In a 6-3 ruling along party lines, Supreme Court justices denied 16 million Americans who had already been approved for loan forgiveness up to $20,000 in relief. Payments are now scheduled to resume in the Fall.
In the meantime, Biden has implemented a temporary 12-month "on-ramp repayment program," which will allow borrowers to defer student loan payments for up to a year without facing legal consequences or penalties from credit companies. The President noted that it "is not the same as the student loan pause," and that "if you can pay your monthly bills, you should."
Biden also slammed the conservative court in his address for rejecting his initial plan, noting it was estimated to cost $400 billion — a little over half of what was spent on forgiving business loans during the COVID-19 pandemic, which was ruled to be legally sound.
"Let's be clear: Some of the same elected Republicans, members of Congress who strongly opposed giving relief to students, got hundreds of thousands of dollars themselves in relief — members of Congress — because of the businesses they were able to keep open," Biden said. "Several members of Congress got over a million dollars. All those loans are forgiven. You know how much that program cost? $760 billion. My program is too expensive? $360 billion more that I proposed in my student debt relief program."
The President added: "What I did I felt was appropriate and was able to be done and would get done. I didn't give borrowers false hope, but the Republicans snatched away the hope that they were given and it's real."