President Joe Biden marked Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday by proclaiming the policies he says will help Black college students and student loan borrowers.
"I have your back," Biden said at the event held by the National Action Network, Politico reported. NAN was founded by the Rev. Al Sharpton.
Biden criticized Republicans who opposed his plan but supported pandemic relief for small businesses.
"Currently the only thing blocking my plan is them suing us," Biden said. "My administration is making the case to the Supreme Court, and I'm confident — I'm confident — in the legal authority to carry out our plan."
Six GOP states sued the White House after Biden announced in August a plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student debt. The lawsuit says the administration's plan is "not remotely tailored to address the effects of the pandemic on federal student loan borrowers," as required by a 2003 federal law the White House used as its legal justification.
Biden told the NAN audience Monday that benefits of the student debt relief plan would be of added benefit to Black borrowers.
"Seventy percent of Black college students receive Pell Grants," he said. "For many Black students, the saving will be significant [under] my debt relief plan, including wiping out their student debt completely. That's a real game changer."
Biden noted also his efforts to increase funding for historically Black colleges and universities.
"We've delivered nearly $6 billion in funding to HBCUs to invest in the next generation of Black leaders," Biden said. "That's a record, that's a fact, and it's not going to stop."
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