Biden Student Loan Forgiveness Program: Republican-led states are pressing the Supreme Court to keep the policy on hold


A group of Republican-led states argued Wednesday that the Supreme Court should keep President Joe Biden’s student debt forgiveness policy on hold while litigation begins over it, pointing to the fact that the Biden administration has extended its moratorium on student loan payments.

Republican states, which have already obtained an appeals court order blocking implementation of the controversial program, said the extension showed there would be no harm by leaving the court order in place.

“Section [of Education] It could indicate no contingent or imminent damage because, just yesterday, the agency extended a moratorium on student loan payments through the summer of 2023,” they wrote in the new filing.

Federal student loan payments were due to resume in January after a years-long pandemic halt. But the Biden administration said on Tuesday it is extending the pause to 60 days after pending litigation over the forgiveness program is resolved. If the program is not implemented and the lawsuit is not resolved by June 30, payments will resume 60 days after that.

Wed deposit by states It was in response to a request by the Biden administration to lift the Supreme Court’s suspension imposed on the Student Debt Forgiveness Program, which would waive loans of up to $20,000 to individual borrowers who earned less than $125,000 in 2020 or 2021.

Republican states have accused the Biden administration of relying on the “COVID-19 pandemic” as a pretext to hide the president’s real goal of fulfilling his campaign promise to cancel student loan debt.

The policy was set to go into effect earlier this fall, but was blocked by the US Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in a lawsuit brought by Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas and South Carolina.

They claim that in introducing the program, Education Minister Miguel Cardona exceeded the power he had under the law to cancel individual debts. They also argue that the department violated administrative law in how it launched the policy.

The states defended an appeals court order blocking the relief program, and told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that they would suffer the kinds of harm that would make it appropriate for the court to intervene.

This procedural threshold—known as the stand—has been a legal hurdle for many opponents of the program who have tried to block it in court, including competitors whose requests for Supreme Court intervention had previously been denied. The states in the new filing argue that they will suffer loss of tax revenue and other types of injury if the debt forgiveness program goes into effect.

The states also pointed to the ruling by a Texas federal judge in a separate case that struck down the student debt forgiveness policy, which the administration has appealed to the Fifth US Court of Appeals. That ruling will remain in effect even if the Supreme Court lifts the suspension imposed by the Eighth Circuit, the states noted in their filing Wednesday.

The Biden administration has indicated that it will take this case to the Supreme Court as well if the Fifth Circuit leaves its dismissal ruling.

In her application to the Supreme Court, US Attorney Elizabeth Prilogar argued that leaving the program on hold “leaves millions of economically vulnerable borrowers in limbo, unsure of the size of their debt and unable to make financial decisions with an accurate understanding of their future repayment obligations.”

Prelogar told the Supreme Court that the program was a legal effort to “ensure that borrowers affected by a national emergency are not worse off in terms of student loans.”

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