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Biden’s Plan B Utilizes Higher Education Act for Student Loan Forgiveness: Key Details

A new initiative to at least partially eliminate federal student loan debt is being launched by President Joe Biden. Following the Supreme Court’s rejection of his earlier plan to wipe away as much as $20,000 for debtors last week. The Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965 serves as the foundation for the White House’s new strategy. It offers federally guaranteed student loans and gives the ability of the U.S. Department of Education to “compromise, waive, or release loans.”

Implementation Process and Uncertainties under the Higher Education Act

Additional information will be made public throughout a regulation process: Any modifications will require several phases over several months to implement. Bharat Ramamurti, the deputy director of the National Economic Council, told reporters on Friday.

It’s uncertain if any debt forgiveness programmes made available through HEA would have the same breadth and depth as Biden’s first initiative. This, according to the White House, applied to 43 million borrowers, 20 million of them were predicted to have all of their student debt forgiven.

Conservatives have harshly criticised the debt forgiveness as a waste of tax money and an exorbitant, unconstitutional “scam,” with some claiming it failed to address the root causes of the education sector’s affordability issues.

“Even a typical rulemaking process can take some time,” Ramamurti remarked on Friday. You must create a proposal, receive feedback, and then finalise it, among other requirements.

Negotiated Rulemaking, Progressive Perspectives, and Potential Legal Challenges

A negotiated rulemaking procedure will entail public hearings and is “even more complicated,” according to Ramamurti. On July 18, the Department of Education will host one virtually.

Progressive Democratic legislators, however, like Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. They have consistently urged the Biden administration to pursue debt relief through the HEA rather than the HEROES Act.

Regardless matter how much of his backup plan’s student loan debt Biden promises to discharge. And whether there is an income limit for people whose debts are forgiven. His plan is likely to encounter legal challenges as well, raising concerns about how far the White House would go and if the Supreme Court, which has rejected his initial plan, might be more receptive to a different course of action.