DOVER — President Joe Biden rallied support for his student loan forgiveness plan from a stage at Delaware State University, surrounded by students and staff at Delaware’s only historically black university and under national media spotlight.
“My commitment when I ran for President of the United States was to make government work and serve the people. And I stand by that commitment to every student in debt,” Biden told the crowd from the auditorium. from the DSU Education and Humanities Theater on Friday afternoon.
“Our student loan plan lowers costs for Americans as they recover from the pandemic, and it gives everyone a little more breathing room,” the president added. “It won’t go to the top 5% earners, period. It goes to people who really need it across America.
Biden delivered his speech accompanied by DSU students from civic associations and athletes. Nationally, at the start 60% of black students and nearly half of Native American and Latino students receive a Pell scholarship, according to Forbes.
About 75% of DSU students are Pell scholarship recipients, Biden said. Those students could get loan forgiveness of up to $20,000 under Biden’s plan.
Borrowers in Delaware owe a combined $4.8 billion in federal and private student loans, according to Student Loan Hero, an organization that helps borrowers manage and eliminate their loans. There are over 100,000 borrowers in Delaware who have an average of $36,243.
Student Loan Hero reports that $10,000 of loan forgiveness would eliminate their entire portfolio of student debt for 38,567 Delawares.
As he spoke, Biden focused on the students in the room, joking that DSU had to defeat Howard University in their Saturday football game because Vice President Kamala Harris was a proud alumnus. of Howard.
But he also took time to celebrate the generation that joined him on stage, commenting that the future looked bright seen through their eyes.
“You are an example of why I am so optimistic about the future. You are the most involved, most educated, most engaged and least prejudiced generation in American history,” he said.
After pushing back on student loan forbearance throughout the year, Biden and his administration revealed a plan that would forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt per borrower. Specifically, the plan offers $10,000 in student loan forgiveness to borrowers earning less than $125,000 individually and $250,000 per family. This amount provides $20,000 in student loan forgiveness if the borrower receives a Federal Pell Grant.
The Biden administration estimates the plan impacts 40 million Americans, and about 90% of those borrowers earn less than $75,000 a year.
Biden boasted that nearly 22 million borrowers gave the federal government information to prepare their application. Yesterday, two separate challenges to the loan forgiveness plan were thrown out of federal court, including one that was faced by Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
However, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order late Friday that prohibits the Biden administration from “discharging any student loan debt” until it rules on the case. ‘affair.
While the president has referred to the plan often over the past eight weeks, his stop in Dover was the first time he used the student debt relief plan as a rallying cry ahead of the midterm elections.
The president used his speech to castigate Republicans who voted for the $2 trillion Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and saw their own debt relieved under the Paycheck Protection Program and have always been critical of the student loan forgiveness program. Specifically, he called out Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), for receiving a $182,000 PPP loan, and Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), who received a $2 PPP loan. .3 million.
With 18 days to go until the midterm elections, Biden also used the time to tout the successes he has achieved. This included nominating Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson and offering a mass pardon to those convicted of federal marijuana possession. He also promised to “negotiate” drug prices to keep costs down, as well as tougher gun safety laws – especially to eliminate assault weapons – and codify Roe V. Wade in everything. the country.
“If we keep the Senate, take a few senators, we’ll see to that,” the president said.
Biden’s visit to the DSU also celebrates his ties to Dover as he began to organize politically for Kent and Sussex counties. He also has specific ties to its president, Dr. Tony Allen, who served as his speechwriter while serving in the United States Senate early in his career.
Allen has since held positions at the Wilmington Urban League, MBNA and Bank of America before joining the state’s only HBCU in 2017.
“President Biden never forgot diversity, and more importantly, he never forgot the plight of people of color in our country,” Allen told the crowd before the president spoke. “I want to be clear, this debt plan will affect 1.5 million HBCU students. I assure you; the president’s job is not done. In fact, it begins.