President Biden on Wednesday vetoed the bill that would have scrapped his $400 billion student loan handout and vowed he wasn’t “going to back down” when it came to forgiving the college debt of millions across the country.
“Folks, Republican in Congress led an effort to pass a bill blocking my administration’s plan to provide up to $10,000 in student debt relief and up to $20,000 for borrowers that received a Pell Grant. Nearly 90% of those relief dollars go to people making less than $75,000 a year,” Biden said in a video posted on Twitter.
“I’m not going to back down on my efforts to help tens of millions of working and middle class families. That’s why I’m going to veto this bill,” he said.
Amid his railing against Republicans, Biden made no mention of the two Democratic senators, Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Jon Tester, D-Mont., who joined all Republicans in voting to advance the bill last week. Independent Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema also voted in favor with the final tally coming to 52-46.
Biden also made no mention of Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, and Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-Wash., who joined Republicans in voting for the bill in the House of Representatives. The final House vote tally was 218-203.
The president went on to say that some of the members who voted for the bill had “personally received loans to keep their small business afloat during the pandemic,” and supported “huge tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.”
“But when it comes to hardworking Americans trying to get ahead, dealing with student debt relief, that’s where they drew the line. I think it’s wrong,” he said.
“Let me make something really clear, I’m never going to apologize for helping working and middle class Americans as they recover from this pandemic. Never,” he added before signing his veto of the bill.
Biden’s veto of the bill marks his fifth veto since taking office.
Under the program announced last year, Biden said he would cancel up to $10,000 in student loans for people making less than $125,000, and up to $20,000 for students who received Pell Grants. That program was expected to cost the government more than $400 billion in lost debt repayment, but the program was put on hold after a court blocked it.
The resolution approved by the House and Senate was written under the Congressional Review Act, which lets Congress reject an executive branch policy as long as both the House and Senate pass a resolution disapproving of that policy.
Given the mostly partisan nature of the votes in the House and Senate, it’s unlikely Congress will be able to find the two-thirds majority needed in each chamber to override Biden’s veto.
Fox News’ Peter Kasperowicz contributed to this report.
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