Joe Biden announced $5 billion in student loan forgiveness on Wednesday, as he attempts to mend his fraying electoral coalition ahead of 2024.
The Supreme Court struck down Biden's sweeping $400 billion forgiveness plan this year, forcing him to find workarounds to keep his pledge to young voters to cancel their debt.
After Biden's latest move, he will have wiped $132 billion in debt held by 3.6 million Americans without a single vote in Congress.
"In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision on our student debt relief plan we are continuing to pursue an alternative path to deliver student debt relief to as many borrowers as possible as quickly as possible," Biden bragged.
Biden's alternative plan has two components.
The first involves the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which offers full loan forgiveness for full-time state, local and federal government employees. The program has been on the books for 15 years but was seldom used until Biden "reformed" it.
Biden also introduced a new income-driven repayment plan that reduces monthly payments for eligible borrowers, some of whom may have their debt canceled completely based on financial circumstances.
Borrowers can have loans forgiven after 10 years of regular payments under the plan, SAVE, which is expected to cost over $500 billion.
"From Day One of my Administration, I vowed to improve the student loan system so that a higher education provides Americans with opportunity and prosperity – not unmanageable burdens of student loan debt,” Biden said in a statement.
“I won’t back down from using every tool at our disposal to get student loan borrowers the relief they need to reach their dreams.”
From the moment it was introduced, Biden's student loan plan was blasted as an unconstitutional attempt to buy votes with taxpayer money.
"The Biden Administration’s latest student debt transfer does not 'cancel' or 'forgive' a penny of student loan debt," Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson (La.) said.
"Instead, President Biden is once again asking hard-working taxpayers to foot the bill for the loans of well-off graduates. This is not only unfair, it is wrong."
After the Supreme Court struck Biden's original plan down, student loan repayments began on October 1.
Biden is seen as increasingly vulnerable, with left-leaning young voters souring over the economy and Biden's handling of the war in Israel.