On the verge of a potential decision by the Supreme Court, the White House indicated that President Joe Biden would veto any Republican efforts to overturn his student loan forgiveness plan.
The president announced a plan last October to forgive up to $10,000 in student loans for many borrowers, with some being eligible for up to $20,000.
Biden’s effort has faced court challenges since right after it was announced.
The Republican bill would use the power of the Congressional Review Act to nullify the regulation issued by the Department of Education.
The president’s move would represent a rare veto by the president. Since taking office, Biden has only issued three vetoes. Each of the vetoes came this year and none were overridden by Congress.
The White House stated that the Republican plan would “weaken America’s middle class.”
The overall scope of the forgiveness plan is estimated to be about $400 billion and would potentially affect more than 40 million Americans.
The White House said in a statement that the effort was intended to give Americans “a little more breathing room as they recover from the economic strains associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Biden’s veto threat also comes as the Supreme Court may rule that his student loan forgiveness plan is unconstitutional.
Deliberations among the justices over Biden’s plan have included a number of pointed questions by the court’s conservative majority.
Chief Justice John Roberts said that if the federal government would expend the money necessary for the forgiveness plan “on a subject of great controversy,” then observers would likely believe that the decision was “something for Congress to act on.”
Supreme Court to issue decisions on affirmative action, Biden’s student loan forgiveness planhttps://t.co/dVcp13YTU0
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Justice Brett Kavanaugh appeared to concur with the sentiment, noting that the Biden administration’s legal framework for the plan was a 2003 law mainly intended to forgive college costs for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The White House intended to use a clause relating to emergencies in the Higher Education Relief Opportunities For Students Act to stipulate that the COVID-19 pandemic constituted the legal justification for the plan.