Pres. Biden delivered remarks after Supreme Court strikes down student loan forgiveness program

(ABC News) – President Joe Biden delivered remarks on Friday afternoon after the Supreme Court’s decision to kill his student debt forgiveness program. 

RELATED: The Supreme Court rejects Biden’s plan to wipe away $400 billion in student loan debt

“This fight is not over,” he said in a statement, in which he announced he will speak on the “next steps” the administration will take.

“I believe that the Court’s decision to strike down our student debt relief plan is wrong,” he said. “But I will stop at nothing to find other ways to deliver relief to hard-working middle-class families. My Administration will continue to work to bring the promise of higher education to every American.”

The court’s conservative majority struck down the program as illegal, stating the administration overstepped its authority when it moved to waive $430 billion in debt for millions of eligible Americans.

Biden learned of the decision from his senior aides, a source said, and has since been meeting with his team.

The Supreme Court’s ruling is a political blow to Biden, who pledged during the 2020 campaign to erase some of the student loan debt burden for low-income and middle-class Americans.

The program would have forgiven up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt for borrowers making less than $125,000 a year. Borrowers who took out Pell grants to pay for college could have had up to $20,000 canceled.

“It would have been life-changing for millions of Americans and their families,” Biden said in his first reaction to the court’s ruling. “And it would have been good for economic growth, both in the short- and long-term.”

Forty-three million Americans would have qualified for the program. The Education Department had already approved applications for 16 million borrowers before the program was put on halt last fall due to legal challenges.

The White House earlier this week declined to say what their possible alternatives were should the court rule in the way it did.

Soon after the court handed down its decision, congressional Democrats began urging Biden to find another way to provide relief.

“The Biden administration has remaining legal routes to provide broad-based student debt cancellation,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said. “With the pause on student loan payments set to expire in weeks, I call upon the administration to do everything in its power to deliver for millions of working- and middle-class Americans struggling with student loan debt.”