DOVER — Ahead of the United States Court of Appeals ruling Friday night to suspend the federal student debt forgiveness program, President Joe Biden visited Delaware State University to sue the mission of his administration to publicize the program.

The United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit has issued an administrative stay of the program as it considers an injunction from several Republican governors fighting against aid. The decision comes after a lawsuit by the group of governors was dismissed by a lower court.

President Biden’s speech brought together many top Delaware officials, including Governor John Carney, U.S. Senator Tom Carper, U.S. Senator Chris Coons, U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long, and District Attorney General Kathy Jennings. .

Delaware State University President Dr. Tony Allen, who worked for President Biden as a speechwriter when he served in the US Senate, called the event a “historic day” for the university.

“President Biden has done more for HBCUs than any other president in American history,” Dr. Allen said. “Just a month ago, President Biden announced the most comprehensive and ambitious student debt relief plan in American history; one that will affect 43 million Americans.

The Biden administration’s federal student debt relief program gives millions of Americans the opportunity to receive up to $10,000 in student debt forgiveness; the program also gives Pell Grant recipients earning less than $125,000 the opportunity to receive up to $20,000 in student loan forgiveness.

After acknowledging Delaware’s elected officials in the audience, President Biden spoke about what his administration has done for HBCUs, such as the cumulative investment of $5.8 billion in HBCUs across the country. He applauded the growth of Delaware State University under Dr. Allen’s leadership before moving on to federal student debt relief, which he called a “game changer.”

“My commitment when I ran for President of the United States was that if elected, I would make government work and I would serve the people; a simple application process delivers on that commitment just as I delivered on my commitment to student debt relief as borrowers recover from the economic crisis caused by the once-in-a-lifetime pandemic,” President Biden said.

The application process for the program takes less than five minutes, according to President Biden, who said his administration has heard from more than 10,000 students who have taken advantage of the program. People applying for loan forgiveness are only required to provide their name, social security number, date of birth, and contact information. The application website can be accessed at

After describing the program and its benefits, President Biden took the time to talk about “who’s against helping the millions of you who need help.”

President Biden has spoken out about the hypocrisy of various Republican lawmakers who claim student debt shouldn’t be forgiven, like U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who had $180,000 in business loans canceled through of the federal Paycheck Protection Program, as well as U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., who had $2,300,000 in loans canceled under the program.

In his closing remarks, President Biden spoke about the accomplishments of his administration and the issues he will continue to prioritize. After mentioning the various gun safety laws passed this year, President Biden said, “I’m coming back and I’m going to eliminate assault weapons.”

He went on to highlight the importance of fighting climate change, his commitment to clearing the records of those imprisoned for personal marijuana use or possession, and restoring women’s right to choose. As the midterm elections approach, President Biden said that if Democrats hold the Senate and win a few seats, “we’re going to see through that that we fully codify Roe v. Wade in every state,” which has received resounding applause from the waiting hundreds.

“I have always believed that your generation represents the best educated, most talented and least prejudiced generation in our history. That today we are facing an inflection point, one of those moments that only occur every several generations, where there are so many changes taking place technologically, politically, socially and environmentally” , said President Biden.

“I’m not saying you have to carry the burden on your own. The task ahead and the task ahead — work with all of us. What I mean is that you represent the best of us. This generation and your generation will not be ignored. You will not be rejected, you will not be silenced. Watch what happens when you speak.

The Delaware State University campus was buzzing Friday afternoon, with hundreds of students hoping to see President Biden’s appearance lined up outside the theater in the university’s Education and Humanities Building , where the speech took place.

Delaware State University freshmen Alexis Sumner of New Castle County and Kayla Henson of Washington DC were both eager to see the president. Ms. Sumner said the energy on campus has been high since rumors of President Biden’s appearance surfaced two days ago. Ms Henson agreed, adding that she had friends queuing to attend the speech for over an hour.

“It’s an honor for him to come to an HBCU. I mean, it’s Biden,” Ms. Sumner said. “It’s great that he gives back and I love that because it’s something I can receive and benefit from.

“I think it’s really exciting. I know a lot of people who are stressed out about their student debt and it helps them feel relieved. This is another issue that students can throw off their shoulders,” Ms Henson said.

Staff reporter Joe Edelen can be reached at [email protected]
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