President Joe Biden on Thursday said 16 million Americans who applied for the student loan debt program would be approved by the end of the week, the final step before checks would be released.
"By the end of this week, the Department of Education will have approved applications for 16 million Americans and sent the necessary paperwork to student loan servicers — the last step before the 16 million Americans can have their loan discharged," Biden said at Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
He then noted the program is on hold due to legal challenges, for which he blamed Republicans.
"Their outrage is just simply wrong, and I might add ... I’m not being too political here, but hypocritical," Biden said.
A legal ruling stopped the initiative while a federal appeals court considers a challenge from six Republican-led states. Biden asserts his administration will win the case.
The president plans to forgive up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt for those earning under $125,000. The amount for those who received Pell Grants will be $20,000.
Biden was joined by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., who is in a tightly contested reelection bid against Republican Mark Ronchetti. A recent Emerson College poll has Lujan Grisham holding a 2-point lead.
Biden will leave New Mexico Thursday evening for an event in San Diego, California, to campaign for incumbent Rep. Mike Levin, D-Calif., who holds a 6-point lead over GOP challenger Brian Maryott, according to the most recent SurveyUSA poll.
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