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White House announces $7.4B student debt cancellation

The White House on Friday announced it’s canceling an additional $7.4 billion in debt as part of the Biden administration’s most recent attempt at widespread student loan forgiveness ahead of the election.

The administration announced the handouts, targeted at an estimated 277,000 borrowers across the country, with the national debt topping $34.5 trillion. 

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Biden with student loan payment

President Biden announced a new round of student loan handouts Friday. (Reuters/Montage / Reuters Photos)

Biden touted his Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan, which originated after the Supreme Court struck down Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan.

SAVE Plan

“These 277,000 borrowers are enrolled in my administration’s SAVE Plan, or were approved for relief because of fixes we made to Income-Driven Repayment Plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness,” Biden said in a news release. “From day one of my administration, I promised to fight to ensure higher education is a ticket to the middle class, not a barrier to opportunity.”

Students protest resuming loan repayments

People rally to demand President Biden use “Plan B” to cancel student loan debt outside the Supreme Court, June 30, 2023, in Washington, D.C.  ( Paul Morigi/Getty Images for We The 45 Million / Getty Images)

The president promised to “never stop” working to cancel student debt — taking a dig at Republican lawmakers who have opposed altering student loan repayment plans.

‘Using every tool’

“Republican elected officials across 18 states want to prevent their own constituents from benefiting from the SAVE plan,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “They want to end SAVE and make their constituents’ monthly payments go up and keep them under mountains of loan debt with no end in sight.”

“The president will continue fighting to give people more breathing room and using every tool at his disposal to help borrowers.”

Students studying at a cafe at Biola University's campus

Students study at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif. (Sunny Tsai / Fox News)

Since President Biden took office, his administration has approved over $54 billion in debt cancelation for 1.4 million borrowers enrolled in programs similar to the SAVE plan.

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Biden has also canceled debt for nearly 900,000 public service workers, 1.3 million borrowers cheated by their schools or borrowers covered by related court settlements, and nearly 550,000 borrowers with a total and permanent disability, including many veterans, the White House said in the announcement.

States file lawsuits

The White House announcement comes at the heels of 18 states suing over Biden’s student loan plan.

Missouri, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Oklahoma and North Dakota joined a growing number of states and filed a complaint against the plan on Tuesday.

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey’s lawsuit argued that Biden’s “SAVE” plan, announced in February, is illegal and would cost American taxpayers $475 billion.

Joe Biden student loan handout

President Biden’s alternative student-debt relief plan could forgive loans for as many as 26 million Americans, a far-reaching initiative that will be tested by the same challenges that beset his original program struck down by the Supreme Court. (Daniel Steinle/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Bailey’s lawsuit comes just weeks after Kansas and 10 other states sued the Biden administration over the same plan.

“With the stroke of his pen, Joe Biden is attempting to saddle working Missourians with a half trillion dollars in debt. The United States Constitution makes clear that the President lacks the authority to unilaterally ‘cancel’ student loan debt for millions of Americans without express permission from Congress,” Bailey told Fox News Digital.

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“The president does not get to thwart the Constitution when it suits his political agenda. I’m filing suit to halt his embarrassing attempt to buy the 2024 election in direct violation of the law. The Constitution will continue to mean something as long as I’m Attorney General.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.

Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.

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