“I Got it Passed by a Vote or Two”: Biden’s Latest Bizarre Boast on Student Loans May Come Back to Haunt Him

This weekend, I ran a column on President Joe Biden’s off-base boast that the Supreme Court and a lower court had declared that they are “on Biden’s side” on tuition forgiveness. After the column ran, however, the President claimed that he pushed through the loan forgiveness program through Congress on a narrow margin. That boast is particularly embarrassing because the Administration is in court claiming that he did not need to get congressional approval for the plan. It is likely to be raised by challengers in the next stage of litigation. It also may strangely reflect a moment of clarity in his subconscious mind, a faint recognition of the constitutional principles that he once defended as a United States senator.

There are significant constitutional questions raised by Biden’s half trillion dollar loan giveaway — an acknowledgment made by one of the courts ruling against challengers on standing grounds. The problem is finding someone with standing to allow courts to reach the merits of this unilateral executive action.

On the merits, the Justice Department is insisting that no vote was needed by Congress for Biden to simply waive hundreds of billions of dollars of debt owed to the American people. Many of us contested that claim.

Yet, in a sit-down interview with NowThis ‘Make Your Mark’, Biden seemed to channel the objection of the challengers and declared “It’s passed. I got it passed by a vote or two.”

Biden’s latest gaffe is likely to be referenced in the ongoing litigation to reaffirm the assumption (including by Biden himself) that Congress would need to sign off on such a giveaway. After all, the Framers gave Congress the power of the purse as a check on such executive authority.

The Biden administration is relying on a dubious argument that Congress allowed for such a massive loan forgiveness in passing the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act of 2003. As the acronym indicates, this short bill was designed for military personnel who often found themselves in arrears while serving abroad. It allows the Education Secretary to grant student loan relief during a war, military operation, or national emergency. But nothing in the barely five-page act supports a sweeping and unprecedented waiver of billions of dollars in loans owed to the government.

The White House staff will now bring out the mop-and-bucket crew on the latest presidential spill, but it may be difficult to spin this latest gaffe. HEROES was passed in 2003 in the House by a vote of 421-1. That’s right, there was only one vote against the bill. (The only nay vote was from Democrat George Miller of California). It passed the Senate by “unanimous consent.” There was no roll call vote. according to the congressional record. At the time, Biden was the senior senator from Delaware.

So it appears rather than passing the original Heroes Act by “one or two votes,” there was only one vote in either house against it.

As for his half a trillion dollar giveaway of loan debts, there was no one or two-vote margin because he never submitted it to Congress. Biden is, however, right about one thing: He should have.

Thus, Biden articulated the correct principle in claiming to have passed his loan forgiveness program even by the slimmest majority. The fact that did not actually occur only highlights the fact that it should have occurred. This may be why famed psychoanalyst Carl Jung once remarked, “The unconscious mind of man sees correctly even when conscious reason is blind and impotent.”




A version of this column ran on Fox.com

92 thoughts on ““I Got it Passed by a Vote or Two”: Biden’s Latest Bizarre Boast on Student Loans May Come Back to Haunt Him”

  1. I get flyers from Republican candidates in the mail that address local, state, and federal issues. I get flyers from Dem candidates in the mail that talk exclusively about ‘EXTREMIST REPUBLICANS!’, nothing else. The Dems either really do think we are all stupid and/or woefully overestimate the size of the young, radical leftist voting bloc. Personally, the covid response alone would have been reason enough for me to vote them out; but they just keep quadrupling down on every crappy thing they’e done since 2015. They’re like the ex you get a restraining order against at this point.

  2. Why has no one pointed out that this is nothing less than a bribe to the college elite? Paying $10,000 to $20,000 for each vote for Democrats from college students is ridiculous and should be prosecuted for what it is -Election Fraud. The students may be getting a break now but wait a few years when they will have to pay off the next generation’s student loans. Maybe then they will figure out why most of us are disgusted with this blatant bribe attempt. We paid off our loans and now because now he thinks he can bribe students for their vote we have to pay for other peoples kids to go to college.

    1. Rick, in all fairness, as this is an ongoing discussion within several columns: The timing as well as legal issues were adressed.

  3. What’s the diferencye between a fabricate/hoax/lie/mislead/misstate and a “gaffe”?

    “You probably being aware, I have just signed a law […] It’s passed. I got it passed by a vote or two, and it’s in effect, and already, and a total of , I think it’s now 13 Million people have applied for that service.”

    Professor, I commented at 11:17 AM to your “Hill” column:

    “I watched 65′ “intimate conversation between President Joe Biden and young change-makers focused on finding solutions to some of the most critical issues facing their generation: gun legislation, abortion access, trans rights, economic instability, the climate crisis, and criminal legal reform.” as part of “Now this Presidential forum”. I wonder why this importent dialoge didn’t got your undevided attention.”

    For those who are interested to llook at picture and put it in context with Biden-Sanders Manifesto, I expand my comment:

    One of this six “young change-makers” was Joshika Kumaran (Edison, NJ), Age 20. “Economic Instability: Joshika Kumaran is a college student and the daughter of immigrants from a low-income background. Her parents were laid off from their jobs during the pandemic, and her brother is currently suffering from a malignant brain tumor. While Joshika Kumaran has to take out an increasing amount of loans, she plans to avail herself of the student loan relief program in the hopes that it will help ease her family’s financial burden.”

    Her story went from 9:50 to 19:15, including two readed monologues: her 1st readed momologue started at 11:15:

    “I wanted to set myself and my family up for long term financial security by getting a college degree but it comes by a huge cost, which makes it harder for me to help my family stay afloat and pay for my brothers brain cancer threatments. For people of color, the path to true financial security is often paved with advanced degrees, and the cost of simple getting a bachelor’s degree can be the largest burden we bear financially. Federal loan forgiveness will make a big difference, but it feels like the system itself is broken in some ways. What can your administration, working with Congress, do to help break this vicious cycle that is hurting the future of young people seeking an education for a better life?

    President Biden’s answer – which he read in part from a script – started at 12:00. the referenced quotes are ebettet in a 90” monologue which ran between 14:35 – 16:05:

    “You probably being aware, I have just signed a law that’s being challenged by my Republican colleagues, who are the same people who got PPP loans during the for up to close to, in some cases, $ 500-600K. They have no problem with that. The individual in Congress got those. But what we have provided for is, if you went to school, if you qualified for a Pell Grant, you qualify for […] 20K in debt forgiveness. Secondly, if you don’t have one of those loans, you just get 10K written off. It’s passed. I got it passed by a vote or two, and it’s in effect, and already, and a total of , I think it’s now 13 Million people have applied for that service. And you know, what I think we should also doing, as well, is right now, there is a paying program that you never have to pay back more than 10% of your disposable income for your college. I think that should be cut to 5%. And I think that should be kept. And I have proposed that, that’s passed. […]I want to double Pell Grants. So we bring back some equilibrium again.”

    Her 2nd readed question started at 16:10:

    “Your administration moved to cancel billions of dollars in student loans debt through an executive action. Those of us who do recieve this relief fear that another administration could reverse the cancallation and resaddle us with the same debt. What does a sustainable solution look like that can’t be reversed by a new administration?

    Biden spoke between 16:30 and 19:15 what he had achieved and what are his next plans, but didn’t answer her question.

    1. Charlotte, the WH is now claiming that he was referring to the Inflation Reduction Act (sic) when he talked about a law being passed. Given your transcript, this is simply a lie.

      1. Daniel, I typed transcript & included a link to “you tube”. Everybody can easily compare what was said and if it whas out of context (in the meantime FNN shared Biden’s answer too, but unfortunately missed the question).

        Q1: .”What can your administration, working with Congress, do to help break this vicious cycle that is hurting the future of young people seeking an education for a better life?”
        A1: “You probably being aware, I have just signed a law […] It’s passed. I got it passed by a vote or two, and it’s in effect, and already, and a total of , I think it’s now 13 Million people have applied for that service.”
        Q2: “Your administration moved to cancel billions of dollars in student loans debt through an executive action. […] What does a sustainable solution look like that can’t be reversed by a new administration?
        A2. Q dodged, monologue off topic.

        Just to recap: The event was prepared, Qs read from a card (“working with Congress”) and not adopted after his answer (“executive action”).

        Why Professor Turly labeled an answer that raising false expectation as a “gaffe” is beyond my imagination. Nobody will care about 13 Million hopefuls, if SCOTUS will block executive action after midterms.

  4. If Biden’s disconcerting behavior were limited to simple misstatements, embellishments, and mistaken memories. Biden appears delusional, unaware of his surroundings, and unable to communicate clearly. My point is, stop sugar coating the truth by using benign words like “gaffe” to describe Biden’s bizarre behavior.

  5. If Biden’s disconcerting behavior were limited to simple misstatements, embellishments, and mistaken memories. Biden appears delusional, unaware of his surroundings, and unable to communicate clearly. My point is, stop sugar coating the truth by using benign words like “gaffe” to describe Biden’s bizarre behavior.

  6. Delusions of grandeur coupled with the long recognized political axiom:. “I could never respect a constituency which would raise ME to high office”………………..Groucho Marx.

        1. Head Up A….Disease. If you disagree with policy, state so and allow attempts at rebuttal. Or don’t, it’s your choice how to use your neurons. Ad hominins don’t advance the conversation. In all of history, is there a politician who at some point has not inserted their foot in their mouth. Look at the totality and apply your criticisms equally. It appears you are virtue signaling to the like-minded.

          1. Safeside824 wrote, “Head Up A….Disease.”

            Oh, you’re trying to be witty.  Your effort is a complete failure when others have to ask what you’re talking about.

            Safeside824 wrote, “If you disagree with policy, state so and allow attempts at rebuttal. Or don’t, it’s your choice how to use your neurons.”

            I do address disagreements with policy and you can rebut what I write if you choose, it’s my choice whether I reply to trolls or not. I usually don’t reply to trolls.

            Safeside824 wrote, “Ad hominins don’t advance the conversation.”

            Your statement implies that my comment was an ad hominem, that’s an interesting opinion. Let’s look at a few relevant definitions…

            Ad Hominem: adjective (of an argument or reaction) directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.

            Ad Hominem: adverb in a way that is directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.

            Gaffe: noun an unintentional act or remark causing embarrassment to its originator; a blunder.

            Foot-In-Mouth: idiom To unintentionally say something foolish.

            Flippant: adjective lacking proper respect or seriousness.

            So by definition my statement wasn’t an ad hominem because it addressed both the position that was being held by President Biden (his lie was so blatantly obvious to everyone that it was it was clear that he had put his foot in his mouth) and the ongoing issue that the President has been putting his foot in his mouth a lot lately with one gaffe after another.

            What my comment was, was flippant. I was making my point that President Biden has a gaffe problem in a non serious manner.

            So it comes down to this Safeside824, you’re welcome to your own opinion about President Biden’s foot-in-mouth gaffes but you’re not welcome to misuse the English language to try to smear me.

            Safeside824 wrote, “In all of history, is there a politician who at some point has not inserted their foot in their mouth.”

            Congratulations Safeside824, you spewed out one of the most unethical rationalizations of them all, the Golden Rationalization which is #1 on the Unethical Rationalizations and Misconceptions list.

            President Biden has got a serious problem with gaffes, deny that and you’re denying a reality that’s is so in-your-face that you would appear to be delusional which is holding idiosyncratic beliefs or impressions that are contradicted by reality or rational argument.

            Safeside824 wrote, “Look at the totality and apply your criticisms equally.”

            I do.

            Here are some of the things I’ve written in Turley’s comment threads about Donald Trump…

            “Donald Trump’s unethical loose cannon mouth shows that he’s a hypocrite.”

            “Donald Trump’s loose cannon mouth is his own worst enemy.”

            “I agree that Donald Trump’s speech on January 6, 2021 was an irresponsible loose cannon spewing of opinion (Constitutionally protected free speech) that he really shouldn’t have engaged in as a leader”

            “I don’t like Donald Trump one bit, in fact I’ve never liked him, and I think he’s a rhetorical loose cannon and a narcissist”

            “President Trump is a loose cannon mouthed unethical political hack”

            “I am no fan of the loose cannon mouthed Trump”

            “You won’t get me to attempt to justify the nonsense that comes out of President Trump’s loose cannon unethical mouth…”

            “Trump is a loose cannon mouthed narcissist jerk”

            Furthermore; here are some things I wrote about Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign…

            “Trump is full of rhetoric that is entrenched in unwavering intellectual dishonesty guided by his appallingly unethical character that is projecting his complete and utter moral bankruptcy and he uses his uncivil rhetoric to steamroll over anything in his path.”

            “It’s my opinion that Trump is a dirtbag narcissistic snake oil salesman.”

            “Trump is a caricature, the culmination of all those Liberal political cartoons portraying Republicans with Liberal magical thinking, it’s the equivalent to a DC Comic graphic novel coming to life.”

            “Trump is not a true Conservative, he’s a narcissist exploiting an opportunity.”

            “Trump has no real ideology, his “ideology” blows with the winds of self-promoting opportunity.”

            Yes Safeside824, I think apply my contempt and criticisms equally, I’m not a hypocrite and I abhor double standards and rationalizations.

            Safeside824 wrote, “It appears you are virtue signaling to the like-minded.”

            What I wrote could be perceived that way; however, what I wrote was also a Mr. Obvious statement.

            In conclusion; it’s quite obvious that your reply to my comment was the true ad hominem and a miserably failed attempt to besmirch my character, your replies were trolling deflections and I’m done going down this delusional rabbit hole your digging.

  7. “If you went to college and payed off your loans all by yourself congrats! You will now help other people pay off theirs.”

    This authoritarian lawlessness is what Joe Biden and Democrats are proud of.

    Vote Democrat? Not on your life.

      1. Yeah, well those of us who never went to college are now paying for some liberal deadbeat’s loans that dicktator Joey waved his EO wand and said poof, “you are forgiven…and you must suck it up and pay!” I’ve got two words for you: F*** Joe Biden.

  8. One can imagine the conversation between Joe and his handlers. Joe asks, “Did the congress pass this bill?” They answered. “Yes Mr. President it past by a couple of votes.” Joe responds, “Okay where do I sign. It can’t be his fault. How else could a man believe that a bill was signed off on by the legislature when it wasn’t. There can be only two explanations. One would have to be delusion and the other would have to be nefariousness. Then again, it could be delusional nefariousness both being ingrained in his mind for such a very long time due to his occupation. I believe my accusation to be very well founded when considering the mounting evidence that comes from his very own lips. Of course his friends in the media are putting the edges of their spin shovels to the sharpening stone. What will you believe when the sparks begin to fly.

      1. Macroman, sorry I missed my past in my proofread. Past may also effectively apply concerning Joe’s mental cognition.

  9. I believe the last time we had a president that suggested to a foreign power to consider options respective of our electoral calendar, the House flipped to a Republican majority and the Senate remained in a Democrat majority. I have no doubt that Biden (or his handlers) view his presidency as much a lame duck as Obama’s. He and the outgoing Democrat majority will use these last 67 days to throw as much unconstitutional $hit against the wall as possible, knowing full well the damage it will do before it gets struck down by the courts.

    Are there any more Tulsi Gabbards in the Democratic party?

  10. To put this in perspective one needs a grasp on how big is one trillion dollars. Here is a quick story to illustrate. A math student had three suitors who each asked her to marry her. To the first, she said she would give him his answer in one million seconds. He looked puzzled but agreed. To the second, she told him he could have his answer in one billion seconds. To the third, a budding future politician, she told him she would give him his answer in one trillion seconds.

    The first suitor got his answer 14.5 days later. The second gave up waiting after 31.5 years. The politician had to wait 31,500 years.

    There are 143 million taxpayers in the U.S. That means half a trillion dollars is 3500 added to each taxpayer. “Hey you didn’t need that money so we decided to give it away for you.”

    This is what happens when math deficiency invades politics, is mixed with arrogance and unapologetic hubris.

    1. This is money we will have to borrow.
      Either the Fed will have to finance it – more inflation, or we will pay high rates of interest.

      The UK just lost a prime minister for failing to grasp the impact of spending when there is no central bank to buy the debt.

  11. There is no constitutional authority to provide or forgive student loans.

    Congress has no constitutional power to tax for student loans.

    No one has cited the Constitution for any power to fund, provide or forgive student loans.

    Student loans must have been immediately struck down by the judicial branch or Supreme Court through Judicial Review.

    The singular American failure has been and continues to be the judicial branch with emphasis on the Supreme Court.

    The judicial branch and Supreme Court are oath-sworn to support the literal English words of the Constitution…

    the Constitution, the whole Constitution and nothing but the Constitution, so help you God.

  12. Prof. Turley, this would be an excellent opportunity for you to discuss what would be required to obtain standing in this case. I am a U.S. taxpayer. Would I not have standing in this matter because I pay Federal income tax which is being spent on the basis of an Executive Order, not by an appropriation bill initiated in the House, enacted by the House and the Senate an signed by the President? Would not any tax payer have standing? If not, what are the necessary conditions that must be met?

    1. Not a lawyer but Turley has explained in prior posts that court precedent excludes taxpayers, i.e. you do not get standing to sue the government solely by virtue of being a taxpayer (because, well, that’s what the courts say, so there). You have to have an identifiable and redressable harm (beyond taxes) to get standing.

      1. I am (was) a lawyer and confess that this is a very difficult bar-exam type question. Same problem existed in most of the lawsuits challenging the 2020 election. The taxpayer is indirectly harmed by this loan giveaway, so he has no “standing”, which requires direct injury. Same with voters (or even other states) in the election cases. I think those cases were wrongly decided but hey, I’m just a retired lawyer. I think only Congress can sue to stop the loan giveaway and we all know that they won’t, at least until next January. The Supremes can’t step in on their own.

        1. Standing is court created law. It purpose is not to thwart justice or inquiry but to prevent the courts from being tied up with frivolous lawsuits.
          Also to ensure that the party with the most at stake is the one making a claim.

          But standing is not sacrosanct. There are no rights involved.

          Standing can not be used to protect unconstitutional acts from judicial review.

          Whether it is TX SB 8, the Election, or Biden’s obviously unconstitutional spending of 1/2T
          standing can not be the impediment that prevents inquiry.

    2. Agree. Professor Turley: Since the great unwashed masses do not have standing, please explain the necessary conditions to be met.

    1. Darren Smith wrote, “Forgive and Forget”

      Forgiving is an important cultural virtue but forgetting is not wise.

      For Democrats talking about fellow Democrats the phrase becomes, “ignore and deny”.

      For Democrats talking about Republicans the phrase becomes, “endlessly smear and demonize forever”.

  13. And they wanted to invoke the 25th or impeach Trump over his supposed questionable mental capacity?

    Then there is Biden on his legislation on guns,
    “My, my legislation says there can be no more than eight bullets in a round, okay?”

    So the question everyone is asking, who is really in charge? Jill Biden?
    If Biden were to step down, then we have Harris.
    Think about that one for a moment.

    Oh, and did anyone notice the 101st Airborne Division, yes, that one, is in Europe for the first time since WWII? They are in Romania. 3 MILES from the Romanian/Ukraine border. A few pundits were commenting on how ready the 101st was to go into the Ukraine. Nothing says good times like playing WWIII nuclear chicken, right?

    Glenn Greenwald made this comment about the situation,
    “It’s always a bad sign when the US military starts embedding the largest media corporations to enable exciting war shots for the evening network news. Biden has done literally everything to make the US a belligerent in the war in Ukraine short of deploying full battalions there.”

    1. Harris would be better. By far. Biden is going to kill us all if we’re not careful .. . and has never been in his right mind, even when he had two brain cells to rub together.

      ‘Never underestimate the ability of Joe to fu*k things up.’ ~ statement attributed to president Obama

      *and, yes, I did notice the 101st ‘Screaming Eagles’ are on hair trigger alert ‘250’ clicks from the front lines in Ukraine.

    2. Gotta call you one one thing. The 101st is only a brigade now, and of those only 4000 are there. This is meant as a political theater statement, not a credible threat.

      The only real “Airborne” unit we have left at true Division level strength is the 82nd.

      1. CurrentSitGuy,
        Ah, thank you for the clarification.
        From the article I read, it said Division. I did see someone quote as being 4,700 troops. I did think that was a bit low for a Division, but I am not familiar with Army echelons.
        As I even understand it, the Marines are looking to changing the make up of a platoon.

  14. Professor Turley, you are being too kind here. Our President’s head is filled with oatmeal and he is not fully cognizant of what he’s saying most of the time.

  15. Biden’s Bludgeoning Blooding BetterAmerica:

    Biden lies
    Pelosi lies
    Schumer lies
    Their SS lies
    America’s Pravda MSM lies

    Yet Americans are warned to focus on “defending democracy” and vote for Pro-Aborts

    but of course

    Marco Rubio says canvasser wearing his t-shirt and a DeSantis hat was ATTACKED by group who said Republicans ‘aren’t allowed in their neighborhood’ and left with a broken jaw, internal bleeding and needing surgery

    1. RE: “canvasser….. was ATTACKED … Hialeah is politically split with a slight Democrat majority. He must have been on the wrong turf. The irony is that these SHPOS have benefited from the policies of the administration of the State of Florida since the election of its Governor and more likely to have been adversely affected by the domestic and foreign policies of the Democrat administration since January 2021.Go figure! https://bestneighborhood.org/conservative-vs-liberal-map-hialeah-fl/

    2. President Unity Joe’s narrative: Voting for Democrats is the only way to protect “our democracy” against the “fascist” threat of the Republican Party and ‘right wing MAGA extremists.’ They are encouraging political violence from the White House on down. The rule of law is nonexistent under Garland’s weaponized DOJ.

      The truth: Biden and his deranged Democrat Party *are the existential threats* to “our democracy.”

    3. Do not be afraid to wear your red MAGA hat or your FJB hat in public. Put them on and wear them! There are way more of us than there are of these feral Democrat thugs. THEY fear us. Do not back down in fear.

  16. Biden is mentally out to lunch and is being manipulated, and when people realize who’s behind the curtain and what is really going on, all hell will break loose. Lived over 20 years in DC and know the game well. Buckle up!

        1. Buckle up for what? An election blowout? People have a pretty good idea who is behind Joe’s curtain, don’t you think? There will be no h*ll breaking loose.

                1. We have Selections, not Elections. We know.
                  And….If Republicans win, there was election interference. If Democrats win, the election was secure. This is their playbook every single time.

                  1. ‘JUST IN – Biden admin set to warn about “threats to nation’s election infrastructure” ahead of midterms — an intelligence bulletin is slated to be issued this week, Politico reports.’

                    But of course! Garland’s politicized DOJ is right on schedule.

  17. This is totally embarrassing to this nation for the rest of the world to watch this bumbling sack of misfiring protoplams stumble around with unknown operatives pulling his chain. The only thing worse is the concept of his P taking over. D*mn each and every democrat who put this addlepated old grifter in the white house.

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