CRFB Reaction to Supreme Court Student Debt Cancellation Ruling

The Supreme Court ruled today that the Administration’s student debt cancellation plan is illegal and will not be allowed to go forward.

The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

The President’s unilateral student debt cancellation plan was expensive, inflationary, poorly targeted, and would have done nothing to improve the affordability of higher education. With today’s Supreme Court decision, it’s time to put these costly cancellation schemes behind us.

Today’s decision resolves nearly a year of legal ambiguity for borrowers, but with only a couple of months remaining before the three-year payment pause comes to an end. The Administration and Department of Education should focus their efforts on helping borrowers resume payments in an orderly manner. Too much time has been wasted on empty promises, and not enough time has been spent on making sure borrowers are prepared to begin making payments again.

The Administration should also work with Congress on a set of reforms to truly contain higher education costs and improve quality and accountability. We hope today’s decision will dissuade this and future Presidents from attempting such costly unilateral actions without Congressional input.

It’s important to note that from an accounting perspective today’s ruling will reduce the 2023 deficit by about $400 billion, just as the announcement increased the 2022 deficit by that amount. This accounting convention may mask the recent rise in structural deficits but does not much change the grim realities of our fiscal trajectory.

It is time for Congress and the President to come together on plans to reduce deficits and improve higher education affordability at the same time. We need real reforms, not empty promises.


For more information, please contact Kim McIntyre, Director of Media Relations, at