Despite claiming last year that President Joe Biden lacked the right to do so, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi praised President Biden’s plan to erase up to $20,000 in student debt for certain borrowers as “bold.”
On Wednesday, Biden said he would forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt for Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 in student loan debt for anyone earning less than $125,000 annually.
The decision to cancel student loans might end up costing taxpayers more than $300 billion over the next 10 years, according to an analysis by the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Pelosi tweeted on Wednesday, “POTUS’ brave decision is a major step in Democrats’ campaign to broaden access to higher education. More working families will be able to meet their kitchen table requirements as they recover from the epidemic by offering unprecedented targeted student debt relief to millions of borrowers,” the statement reads.
Pelosi’s words differ from those she made in July 2021, when she said that Biden lacked the ability to waive student loan debt.
“Many people believe that the President of the United States has the authority to cancel debt. He doesn’t.”
FLASHBACK to April:
Pelosi: “People think that the President of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness. He does not.” pic.twitter.com/w3g9mAbFsb
— Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) August 24, 2022
“He may delay. He may postpone. But he lacks that authority. That needs to be a congressional act. Furthermore, I dislike using the word “forgiveness” since it implies a wrongdoing. It’s only to release individuals from their commitments, not to be pardoned.”
“The President is not able to accomplish it. That is not even up for debate. Not everyone is aware of it. However, the President is unable to pardon; he can only delay.”
To erase $10,000 in student debt, the Biden administration is relying on a legislation passed after 9/11. In the aftermath of the devastating terrorist attacks, the “HEROES Act” was originally put out in 2003 with military personnel serving in the U.S. as its target audience. Since the HEROES Act permits the adjustment of federal student loans during a “war or other military operation or national emergency,” the Department of Education claimed the “COVID-19 epidemic” as justification for Biden’s ability to lawfully eliminate student debt.