Protesters in favor of student loan relief gathered outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday morning, demanding that the top jurists side with President Biden as they hear two cases challenging his signature student loan debt relief policy.
Biden’s relief program looks to cancel $10,000 of student debt for low- to middle-income borrowers and $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients, but the legal challenges have put the program on hold while the Supreme Court hears the arguments for the cases that jeopardize it.
Activists who showed up ahead of oral arguments told Cheddar that Americans should not have to be burdened with so much student debt.
"I went to college as a first generation college student. My FAFSA said we had zero expected family contribution," said Kristin McGuire, executive director of the advocacy group Young Invincibles. "I borrowed $20,000 to finance my college education, and I currently owe over $55,000."
“We're almost 20 years later, and my debt has doubled. And Americans should not have to go through that,” McGuire continued.
Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley (Mass. District 7) also made an appearance outside the Supreme Court.
"The people demand and deserve student debt cancellation," Pressley told the crowd. "Student debt cancellation will change and save lives."
Pressley said that Republican officials are “disconnected from the hardship of everyday folks who are burdened by this debt” and “chose obstruction.”
But, Republicans have called Biden’s plan fiscally irresponsible.
“Our nation is facing a staggering $31 trillion worth of debt and we have closed in on the debt ceiling, yet the Biden administration is still attempting to cancel millions of dollars in student loans,” Senator Rick Scott of Florida has said. “The reality is, a blanket forgiveness of student loans only benefits a small percentage of the population at the expense of millions of other hard working Americans."
The Court’s decisions won’t be released until the early summer, but 26 million people have already applied for the program, with 16 million having already been approved.