'I will never apologize for helping working Americans and middle-class people': Biden dismisses GOP opposition
Student loan relief ‘Game changer’ for millions of Americans

On Monday President Joe Biden announced the formal launch of the federal application for Americans seeking student loan forgiveness, the latest phase of his plan that is expected to provide debt relief to as many as 43 million borrowers.

Here's a look at Biden’s remarks from the White House alongside Education Secretary Miguel Cardona:

'I will never apologize for helping working Americans and middle-class people' Biden dismisses GOP opposition | RawStory.TV'I will never apologize for helping working Americans and middle-class people' Biden dismisses GOP opposition | RawStory.TV

Biden in August announced his decision to cancel up to $10,000 in student loan debt for individuals making less than $125,000 a year or as much as $20,000 for eligible borrowers who were also Pell Grant recipients.

Borrowers must have federally held student loans to qualify. In addition to federal Direct Loans used to pay for an undergraduate degree, federal PLUS loans borrowed by graduate students and parents may also be eligible if the borrower meets the income requirements.

The Department of Education is facing several lawsuits challenging the student loan forgiveness policy. A US district judge could soon decide whether to temporarily block the program from taking effect after hearing a motion for a preliminary injunction last week. That could put student loan cancellation on hold until the judge issues a final ruling on the case.

Asked at the end of his remarks about litigation challenging the plan, Biden said he thinks the administration’s plan will hold up in court. He also took aim at Republican critics of his student debt relief plan, calling their outrage “wrong” and “hypocritical.”

“I will never apologize for helping working Americans and middle-class people as they recover from the pandemic. Especially not the same Republicans who voted for a $2 trillion tax cut in the last administration, mainly benefited the wealthiest Americans and the largest corporations and didn’t pay for a penny of it and racked up the deficit,” he added.

Borrowers who apply before mid-November should see forgiveness before Jan. 1, when payments on loans are scheduled to restart after a pause during the pandemic. That is, if the pending lawsuits don't get in the way before then.

About 43 million Americans have federal student debt, with an average balance of $37,667, according to federal data. A third of those owe less than $10,000. Half owe less than $20,000. The total amount of federal student debt is more than $1.6 trillion.

The government anticipates that fraudsters may call borrowers under the pretense of helping with the process for a fee. “Hang up. You never have to pay for any federal help from the Student Loan Program,” Biden says, adding that any such scams should be reported to the Federal Trade Commission.