In an interview released Sunday, President Biden stated that his student debt forgiveness initiative had already “passed by a vote or two,” although it has not been voted on in Congress.
Biden issued an executive order in late August to “forgive” up to $10,000 in student debt for people making less than $125,000 a year and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients in the same income category. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the unilateral move could cost taxpayers as much as $400 billion.
During a panel discussion with digital media company NowThis, Biden falsely claimed the executive order was actually legislation that he “passed by a vote or two.”
The 8thth The Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily blocked Biden’s student bailout order last Friday in response to a lawsuit filed by a group of Republican-led states.
“Nothing about loan termination is legal or appropriate. In a final round of Congress, the administration is threatening to enact a profound and transformative policy that will have untold economic consequences. The administration’s lawless action should be stopped immediately,” the plaintiffs argue.
The move is seen by many as an undisguised ploy to shore up young, college-educated adults — a core group in the Democratic Party — ahead of the midterm elections and comes at a time of decades of high inflation rates fueled by federal spending.
Since the student loan bailout’s original announcement, the Biden administration has responded to legal challenges by narrowing the definition of qualified applicants. The change has dropped nearly a million claimants, according to an official.
The interview with a handful of young adults with NowThis comes as Biden seeks to reach out to young voters to shore up his declining poll numbers ahead of the midterms. The forum discussion also included segments on gun reform, climate change, access to abortion and transgenderism.
An earlier initiative to provide two years of free community college, making good on an earlier Biden promise, failed to pass a Democratic-controlled Congress.