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Teacher union boss Weingarten goes viral for rant outside SCOTUS over loan forgiveness scrutiny

Conservative justices questioned the fairness of the program, arguing that it was forgiving to some borrowers but not others.

Published: March 1, 2023 12:06pm

Updated: March 2, 2023 8:09am

Teacher union boss Randi Weingarten reached near hysterics Tuesday at a rally outside the Supreme Court, where justices inside were questioning the legality of President Biden's student loan forgiveness program – screaming "that is not fair."

Weingarten, president of the the American Federation of Teachers and a long-time Clinton backer, argued that nobody challenged Biden's legal authority when he signed into law spending bills to help businesses and others during the height of the pandemic. Yet helping students harnessed with loan debts during the tough financial times is brought before the country's highest court.

"And frankly, and this is what really pisses me off," Weingarten said at a Student Debt Crisis Center rally, "during the pandemic, we understood that small businesses were hurting. And we helped them, and it didn’t go to the Supreme Court to challenge it. Big businesses were hurting, and we helped them. And it didn't go to the Supreme Court to challenge it."

Biden's student loan forgiveness plan forgives $10,000 in federal student loans for individuals making less than $125,000 a year and households earning less than $250,000 annually.

However, the difference between the student loan forgiveness and the other pandemic relief efforts was that Congress drafted and passed the latter before Biden, a Democrat, signed them into law.

Weingarten's breakdown over the hearing has gone viral on social media.


"All of a sudden, when it’s about our students, they challenge it, the corporations challenge it, the student loan lenders challenge it," she continued. "That is not right, that is not fair, and that is what we are fighting as well when we say cancel student debt. This is about the people, and it is about the people's future, and it is about all of your futures."

Conservative justices on the high court also questioned the fairness of the program, arguing that it was forgiving to some borrowers but not others.

Biden claimed he has the authority to provide student loan forgiveness under the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act, which was formerly intended for service members in Afghanistan or Iraq. 

The court on Tuesday heard oral arguments challenging Biden's authority and it is not expected to issue a decision for months. 

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