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Biden transfers another $1.2 billion in student loan debt to taxpayers

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President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he was canceling via executive action an additional $1.2 billion worth of student loan debt, the latest in a string of administrative actions from the current president to transfer the debt from students to taxpayers.

“Starting today, the first round of folks who are enrolled in our SAVE student loan repayment plan who have paid their loans for 10 years and borrowed $12,000 or less will have their debt canceled.”

The White House said about 153,000 Americans on the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) repayment plan will be affected.

“The borrowers receiving relief are the first to benefit from a SAVE plan policy that provides debt forgiveness to borrowers who have been in repayment after as little as 10 years and took out $12,000 or less in student loans,” the White House said in a statement. “Originally planned for July, the Biden-Harris Administration implemented this provision of SAVE and is providing relief to borrowers nearly six months ahead of schedule.”

Biden’s announcement comes after the U.S, Supreme Court last year ruled that Biden did not have the power as president to wholesale cancel $400 billion in student debt, $10,000 per qualifying borrower, via the HEROES Act.

But that hasn’t stopped Biden from trying.

Biden made clear this is just the latest in what he hopes will be an ongoing effort to transfer student debt to taxpayers.

“That’s 150,000 Americans and counting,” Biden said. “And we’re pushing to relieve more.”

Biden took fire from critics over the action Wednesday.

“There is no such thing as student loan ‘forgiveness,’” Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., wrote on X. “President Biden is simply transferring the debt to make you and your kids pay back student loans that you never took out.”

As The Center Square previously reported, Biden has chipped away at student loan debt through a variety of administrative changes. According to the White House’s count, Biden has forgiven $138 billion in student debt, affecting nearly 4 million Americans.

In one instance last summer, Biden discharged $39 billion in federal student loan debt for roughly 800,000 borrowers.

Biden used the Department of Education to alter how payments are calculated under the agency’s Income Driven Repayment Plans. In some cases, the change allowed months where borrowers missed payments to still count toward their total amount of payments made.

“Joe Biden just ‘canceled’ $1.2 billion in federal student loans,” Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Texas, wrote on X, adding that “87% of Americans do not have student loans. Why should they be forced to pay the loans of the 13%?”