Padilla Statement on Supreme Court Decision Blocking Student Loan Forgiveness Plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) released the following statement after the Supreme Court struck down President Biden’s federal student loan forgiveness plan in Biden v. Nebraska — denying tens of millions of Americans life-changing relief from the weight of overwhelming student loan debt:

“I’m frustrated and disappointed by today’s ruling — but I’m not surprised. For the second time in two days, an extreme conservative majority on the Supreme Court has chosen to block progress and make life harder for everyday Americans whose path to a better life runs through a college campus.

“The dreams of too many students are limited by their parents’ paychecks, and the promise of higher education is too often closed to students of color. President Biden’s federal student loan forgiveness plan amounted to one of the largest efforts to close the racial wealth gap in United States history. And while the Supreme Court closed the door to this approach, I refuse to believe there’s no path forward. Congress must work alongside President Biden to continue to fight for the millions of Americans still at risk of defaulting on their American Dream.”

Since 1963, tuition costs have increased by 295.2%, making a college degree an unattainable dream for far too many Americans. As a result, the students who are taking on the cost of attendance are left with unbearable student loan debt. Californians owe nearly $142 billion in student debt, with Black and Latino residents facing the highest rates of default and delinquency. Senator Padilla remains a consistent advocate for students and student borrowers. In March, Padilla co-led a letter to President Biden signed by 126 members of Congress reaffirming their support for his federal student debt forgiveness plan.

Padilla believes that every student should have the opportunity to access high-quality and affordable education. That’s why he recently joined Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in reintroducing the College for All Act to make college tuition-free and debt-free for working families and why he previously introduced the Basic Assistance for Students in College (BASIC) Actto ensure more college students are able to meet their basic needs while pursuing their education. He also cosponsored the Student Debt Forgiveness for Frontline Workers Act, which would forgive student and professional training loan debt of frontline health care workers and honor their resilience and sacrifice during the COVID-19 pandemic, and cosponsored the Loan Forgiveness for Educators Act of 2022 to expand federal loan forgiveness for educators. Padilla also cosigned a letter to strengthen the Department of Education’s proposed rules to expand and improve student debt relief programs.

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