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Biden Vetoes Republicans' Block on Student Loan Forgiveness

President Joe Biden
Evan El-Amin / Shutterstock

"I’m never going to apologize for helping working- and middle-class Americans," Biden said.

President Biden has issued a veto against a measure from Republicans blocking his student debt forgiveness plan, leaving the fate of student debt up to the Supreme Court.

“Congressional Republicans led an effort to pass a bill blocking my Administration’s plan to provide up to $20,000 in student debt relief to working and middle class Americans,” Biden tweeted Wednesday. “I won’t back down on helping hardworking folks. That’s why I’m vetoing this bill."

Biden's program would offer $10,000 in loan forgiveness to those who make less than $125,000 per year, and $20,000 to Pell Grants recipients. It is expected to impact over 40 million borrowers within the United States, with 90 percent of the funds going to those making less than $70,000 annually. The expected cost for taxpayers is $400 billion -- less than 20 percent of the military's budget in 2022, which totaled over $2.1 trillion.

“Let me make something really clear, I’m never going to apologize for helping working- and middle-class Americans as they recover from this pandemic, never," he added in the tweet's video message.

Republicans sought to overturn the program, gaining support in both the Senate and House of Representatives. The Senate voted 52-46, with Democrats Jon Tester (Mont.) and Joe Manchin (W.Va.), as well as Independent Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), aligning with Republicans. In the House, the measure passed after two Democrats voted with Republicans. The Supreme Court will now consider the plan, but is unlikely to pass, as the conservative majority has expressed opposition.

Biden said he issued the veto because he is “committed to continuing to make college affordable and providing this critical relief to borrowers as they work to recover from a once-in-a-century pandemic.”

"Don't forget," he continued. "Some of the same members of Congress who want to cut student aid personally received loans to keep their small business afloat during the pandemic. Some of the same members of Congress who supported this bill voted for huge tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy as well. But when it comes to hardworking Americans trying to get ahead, dealing with student debt relief, that's where they draw the line. I think it's wrong."

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