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Tipsheet

Pelosi Is Suddenly Changing Her Tune on a President's Authority to Forgive Student Debt

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

After returning to the White House after two weeks of vacation in South Carolina and Delaware, President Biden announced new action his administration is taking regarding student loan debt held by Americans. Katie has more on Biden's plan here. While many people — on both sides of the spectrum — registered their disdain for Biden's expensive handout, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was apparently thrilled. 

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"President Biden’s bold action is a strong step in Democrats’ fight to expand access to higher education and empower every American to reach fulfillment," Pelosi said in a statement on Wednesday. "By delivering historic targeted student debt relief to millions of borrowers, more working families will be able to meet their kitchen table needs as they continue to recover from the challenges of the pandemic," she claimed.

"Importantly, this action will help those most in need, easing a financial burden disproportionately harming women and people of color," the Speaker added, apparently unable to avoid dragging intersectionality into the equation.

"President Biden and Congressional Democrats remain laser-focused on putting People Over Politics: lowering costs, creating better-paying jobs and building safer communities," Pelosi's statement concluded. 

There's just one problem. The "bold action" taken by Biden heralded by Pelosi as a "strong step," is one that Pelosi herself said that President Biden did not have the authority to take. 

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In April, Pelosi answered a press conference question about student loan debt by saying "people think that the President of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness — he does not. He can postpone, he can delay, but he does not have that power," Pelosi explained of the nonexistent power — "that has to be an act of Congress" — she praised Biden for using this week. 

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