Fox News correspondent, Jacqui Heinrich, delivered a devastating question to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre following the announcement of President Joe Biden’s decision to unilaterally forgive billions of dollars in student loans using the HEROES Act of 2003.
Heinrich asked about the “legal basis for canceling student debt” during a Thursday news conference.
“The HEROES Act hinges on student debt cancelation being tied to the pandemic and that being a national emergency,” Heinrich said.
“But the administration argued in court that the pandemic is over at the southern border to lift Title 42. It’s so over that the government is going to stop buying vaccines in the fall and shift to the private sector, so how is this a national emergency? How is COVID a national emergency when it comes to student debt?”
The Biden administration argued covid was over to lift Title 42 at the border, but is now arguing the covid emergency as the justification for taking on $500 billion in student loans. Checkmate question here from @JacquiHeinrich. Well done: pic.twitter.com/B2WeEZKS7l
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) August 25, 2022
Jean-Pierre’s response was difficult to follow.
“Look, we use the HEROES Act because there are going to be some people when we lift the pause that’s still going to suffer,” she said.
“They’re still going to have a little bit of a hard time, and so that’s one of the reasons that we made this decision because as we’re lifting up the pause, yes, you know, some folks may — the having not to pay for two years has been helpful to them and were able to save and are probably going to be able to pay those monthly payments.
“But there’s going to be some folks who are going to have a hard time because they’re just in a different bracket, right? They’ve probably had a hard time before. We have to remember this is a system,” Jean-Pierre said.
“So the other piece of that is a reform, right? Reforming the system as well so we can help nurses, so we can help construction workers, so we can help firefighters, and making sure that their [payments] are cut in half as well.
“Because, remember, these are some of our first respondents who also suffered so much from the past two years, so he wanted to make sure he gave them a little bit of relief, understanding that some folks are just going to have a little bit of a harder time even though we’re coming out of a pandemic and the economy has been turned back on because of the work that this president has done.”
Heinrich also pointed out the incongruity of the White House claiming the U.S. isn’t in a recession and touting economic growth while citing a need for massive student loan forgiveness.
KJP: Some folks are…going to have a little bit harder time [w/payments]…though…the economy has been turned back on b/c of the work [Biden] has done.@JacquiHeinrich: That’s another thing…[He]…says we’re not in a recession…Why are those…conditions to forgive…debt? pic.twitter.com/Bf6mJRiuE7
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) August 25, 2022
Heinrich pushed to get answers and said, “there are critics who are saying this is not about the pandemic, it’s not about those conditions, that this is about getting people to vote ahead of the midterms, that the real national emergency is Democrats and mid-term elections.”