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Media Press Releases In the Face of Supreme Court Loss, President Biden’s “Plan B” Pledges to Deliver Student Debt Relief Through Rulemaking

In the Face of Supreme Court Loss, President Biden’s “Plan B” Pledges to Deliver Student Debt Relief Through Rulemaking

Advocates Urge Swift Action: “President Biden Needs to Keep his Promise Now”

June 30, 2023 | WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Biden announced that he intends to create a new program under the Higher Education Act in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling to block his original plan to cancel up to $20,000 of student debt for borrowers. 

To date, more than 26 million Americans have applied, and 16 million have been approved by the U.S. Department of Education to receive student debt relief under the President’s previous plan, which was struck down by the Supreme Court today.

In response to President Biden’s announcement, Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC) Executive Director Mike Pierce issued the following statement:

“Today, the Supreme Court reminded us that they will stop at nothing to upend the rule of law and rob hard-working people of relief. Hours later, President Biden refused to let a captured, right-wing Court have the last word and announced plans to cancel student debt using the Higher Education Act. 

“Fast action in the face of such a lawless and brazen decision sends an important signal to families with student debt across the country: President Biden understands the stakes for working families and is willing to deliver. Now we need his Administration to move with the speed this moment demands—cancelling student debt for families promised relief before they are thrown back into the broken student loan system.

“Let me be clear, millions of people with student debt have waited long enough and deserve relief immediately—not more bureaucracy and red tape. President Biden needs to keep his promise now.”


In response to today’s ruling, SBPC and Data for Progress (DfP) released a new poll showing broad, durable popular support for action to cancel student debt. SBPC and DfP’s new poll found that 54 percent of voters support action to cancel student debt in the face of a loss at the Supreme Court, while 38 percent oppose. Among younger voters, such action wins majority support across party lines—70 percent of voters under 45 support action, including 84 percent of younger Democrats, 66 percent of younger independents, and 50 percent of younger Republicans.

The new SBPC polling memo is available here: 

From the memo:

“By agreeing to House Republicans’ demands to restart the student loan system, President Biden risks being the President who turned on a broken student loan system against the wishes of the American people and without providing the debt relief he promised. This new polling shows the political risks for the President in the weeks ahead but also provides a path forward to win the politics of student debt. It is clear that delivering on student debt relief– ensuring that borrowers promised relief actually see their loan balances decline—is good policy and necessary politics. Inaction is simply not an option.”


About Student Borrower Protection Center

The Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC) is a nonprofit organization focused on alleviating the burden of student debt for millions of Americans. The SBPC engages in advocacy, policymaking, and litigation strategy to rein in industry abuses, protect borrowers’ rights, and advance economic opportunity for the next generation of students.

Learn more at or follow SBPC on Twitter @theSBPC.

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