President Joe Biden’s Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, has revealed the next steps for offering student-debt relief and the Biden Administration’s “plan B” before student loan payments resume in October.
RELATED: Ain’t Done Yet! Biden Administration To Forgive $39B In Student Loans After SCOTUS Rejected Initial Plan
Biden’s Secretary Of Education Discusses ‘Plan B’ After Supreme Court Shuts Down Student-Loan Forgiveness
Cardona exclusively spoke with TSR News’ Justin Carter about such a rollout as the start of student-loan payments draws near. Interest is set to accrue again beginning Sept. 1.
“I feel upset for the 43 million people that really need that relief,” Cardona said. “Those are the people we’re fighting for. If we can provide support for banks, airline companies, small businesses, and even some congressmen who complained about loan forgiveness… we [need to] provide debt forgiveness for those trying to make ends meet.”
The interest-free payment ‘forbearance’ pause, which has run for three years across nine extensions, began as an emergency COVID-19 pandemic measure in March 2020 under President Trump.
Now, it could take over a year for Biden to finalize and implement a new student-debt relief plan, according to Insider.
Biden Administration Still Wiping Out $39 Billion In Student Loans For Over 800K People
However, about two weeks after the Supreme Court shot down its initial forgiveness plan, the Biden Administration is still wiping out upwards of $39 billion in student loans for 804,000 people, The Shade Room reported earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Cardona says the aforementioned relief is already ongoing and available. However, borrowers need to know whether or not they qualify.
“800,000 people received an email last Friday, saying that they’re done paying loans and have debt relief,” Cardona said. “I think it’s important for people to know that we are going to continue to fight to provide targeted debt relief to those who have earned it.”
The White House had released a document showing California, Florida, and Texas have people with the most income-driven payment plans who are now eligible for forgiveness, according to Cardona.
Cardona added that most public servants are unaware that their loans may already be eliminated if they have worked in public service and paid their loans for at least a decade.
“A lot of your listeners are public servants. They might not even know that we fixed the public loan forgiveness system, which says if you pay your loans for ten years, and you’ve been working in public service for ten years, your loans will be eliminated,” Cardona noted.
We are continuing to deliver critical student debt relief to students & families. Today, @usedgov is releasing state-by-state data on the 800k+ borrowers who earned $39 billion in automatic loan relief through fixes to the Income-Driven Repayment plans.https://t.co/tD5KVoFeQc pic.twitter.com/5NAB6lxhQH
— Secretary Miguel Cardona (@SecCardona) July 18, 2023
$45 Billion In Loan Forgiveness Allocated To Public Servants, $5 Billion For Disabled Federal Workers
That’s roughly $45 billion in loan forgiveness for public servants alone, Justin Carter reports. That includes firefighters, police officers, teachers, and social workers.
And $5 billion has been set aside for disabled federal workers, per Carter’s report. Another $22 billion is allocated for students defrauded by now-defunct schools like ITT Tech and Corinthian College.
Cardona says President Biden is following through with his promises after previously proclaiming: “This fight is not over.”
It had declared the administration didn’t have the legal power to cancel student loan debts.
"I was one of those borrowers who paid student loans for 28 yrs," says @DonnaFEdwards on the Biden Admin's new student debt forgiveness plan. "It's really a burden that no American family should have to continue to suffer for after paying off loans for 20 yrs." pic.twitter.com/SSPt3oSARo
— Last Call (@LastCallCNBC) July 15, 2023
Supreme Court Finds Biden Overstepped Authority With Student Loan Forgiveness Plan, Cardona Disagrees
Dissenting Justice Elena Kagan argued that the court found the amount of Biden’s plans assistance “too significant,” per the Washington Post. The decision came despite Congress having previously authorized the forgiveness plan.
However, Cardona says the president had the authority under the HEROEs Act. However, “the Supreme Court saw it the other way.”
“We had legal scholars, independent legal scholars, that believed we had the authority as well. But we’re dealing with a different Supreme Court, as the president said. We wouldn’t go forward if we didn’t think we had the authority to do this.”
Cardona added that Republicans will likely continue to sue to block the president’s loan-forgiveness plan. However, “That doesn’t mean we stop fighting,” he says.