DENVER (KDVR) — President Joe Biden unveiled his new plan for student loan relief, days after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down his plan which would have canceled what would have cost roughly $400 billion.
Now the White House is working with the Department of Education to offer borrowers a year before repayment is necessary. The Biden administration used the Higher Education Act of 1965 to ease borrowers’ threat of default if they fell behind on payment once they resume on Oct. 1.
Democratic strategist Andy Boian said on this week’s episode of “Colorado Point of View” the ruling could impact voters’ perceptions.
“There are political implications to everything, and particularly something as high stakes as this,” Boian said.
The senior presidential and gubernatorial advisor added that the president’s efforts are not to win votes, but “it’s actually to allow middle-class and low-class Americans economically to be as viable as those with higher income, and so it’s to level the playing field.”
Boian said if a similar measure to Biden’s initial idea for student loan forgiveness wants to become reality, it will need to be passed through Congress.
Republican strategist Michael Fields agreed but said that it would be unlikely that lawmakers can come to agree on a deal.
“We’ve had times when you’ve had total democratic control of Congress and it didn’t get passed through and the president didn’t sign it,” Fields, the director of the Advance Colorado Institute, said.
Fields also believes not many voters see student loan forgiveness as a top issue.
“If people want this and they can elect new people, but I think overall there’s a lot of people in America who don’t think you should have loan forgiveness because they made different decisions. Right?” Fields said. “They saved up and went to college. They started a business. They’re not forgiving business loans for people who made different decisions.”
The decision has more of an impact on the economy though, as 20 million Americans who would have had federal student loans erased under Biden’s original plan prepare to finish making their payments after it’s been paused for more than three years. The White House is still working on a strategy to forgive loans, but it’s uncertain who would be eligible, how much debt would be cleared, or when it could happen.
Michael Fields highlighted the effects this decision could have on the entire economy.
“It’s going to impact everything from the housing market to loans to everything else, but I think there will be equal blame for the costs going up at this point. And it could impact the election, but we don’t know how yet,” Fields said.
Boian agreed and focused on “How will it affect middle-class Americans paying for groceries? Paying for electricity? Paying for a roof over their heads and paying student debt? That’s what we’re talking about here.”
Watch the full conversation on “Colorado Point of View” this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on Channel 2.