What do you do when the path forward is blocked by an obstacle?
If you’re Joe Biden, you pretend it isn’t there, plow ahead, and send a bill for any damages to taxpayers.
That’s the student loan debt relief fiasco in a nutshell.
Though experts warned that Biden’s student debt relief plan (forgiving up to $20,000 in loans per borrower) would face legal challenges, the White House launched the application process on Nov. 10, with the moratorium on payments set to expire Jan. 1, giving borrowers a chance to file for relief.
Legal challenges did, indeed, emerge, and earlier this month the plan was struck down by a U.S. District Court judge in Texas.
The program is “an unconstitutional exercise of Congress’s legislative power” and the administration would need approval from Congress to move forward, noted U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman.
Biden was undaunted, and this week said his administration will extend the moratorium on federal student loan payments while the White House dukes it out in court to save his debt-canceling plan.
“It isn’t fair to ask tens of millions of borrowers eligible for relief to resume their student debt payments while the courts consider the lawsuit,” Biden said in a video posted on Twitter.
It isn’t fair to ask the millions of people who didn’t go to college to subsidize a bail out for borrowers, nor is if fair to all those who took out student loans and paid them back.
Fair is an elastic concept on Capitol Hill.
The new pause .will extend until 60 days after the lawsuit is resolved. If the lawsuit has not been resolved by June 30, 2023 payments would resume 60 days after that, according to reports.
“I’m completely confident my plan is legal,” Biden said Tuesday.
Just like inflation was “temporary.”
As the Associated Press reported, the White House has argued in court that Americans continue to feel the financial stress of
the pandemic. Without Biden’s cancellation plan, it says, the number of people falling behind on student loans could rise to historic levels
Americans continue to feel the financial stress of inflation spurred by Democrats’ profligate spending. Where’s the relief plan for that?
And as the pause for paying back student loans continues well into next year, it’s taking a sizable bite out of federal revenue.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a D.C.-based think tank, estimates that the pause costs over $5 billion per month. The group opposes a further extension, saying it could worsen inflation and raise the risk of economic recession.
That will be awfully hard to pin on the pandemic, but this administration is adroit at shifting blame.
The pause will, however, keep Biden in good standing with activists and young Democrats, especially as the road to the White House, 2024 edition kicks into high gear.
For those who fueled a Republican majority in the House, any thought that Biden and Co. care about ordinary Americans is, however, temporary at best.