President Biden officially started the application process for the debt relief program on Monday, announcing that 8 million borrowers have already applied.
WASHINGTON — Attorneys from six Republican-run states are asking a federal appeals court to reconsider their efforts to block the Biden administration’s program of forgiving hundreds of millions of dollars in student loan debt.
An appeal to the Eighth US Circuit Court of Appeals was filed late Thursday, hours later US District Judge Henry Autrey in St. Louis ruled that since the states of Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas and South Carolina failed to prevail, “the court has no jurisdiction to hear this case.”
Separately, the six states petitioned the district court for an injunction barring the administration from implementing the debt relief plan until the appeals process is resolved.
President Joe Biden on Monday Application process officially started for the debt relief program and announced that during the federal government’s soft-launch phase last weekend, 8 million borrowers had already applied for credit relief. biden was scheduled to discuss the program on Friday in a speech at Delaware State University.
The plan, announced in August, would eliminate $10,000 in student loan debt for those earning less than $125,000 or households earning less than $250,000. Pell Grant recipients, who typically have higher financial needs, receive an additional $10,000 in debt relief.
The Congressional Budget Office has announced that the program will cost about $400 billion over the next three decades. James Campbell, an attorney for the Nebraska attorney general’s office, told Autrey at an Oct. 12 hearing that the government is acting outside of its agencies in ways that will cost states millions of dollars.
The termination applies to federal student loans used to attend elementary and high schools, as well as Parent Plus loans. Current college students qualify if their loans are paid off before July 1. The plan would see 43 million borrowers eligible for some debt relief, with 20 million able to write off their debt entirely, the administration said.
The announcement immediately became a major political issue before the midterm elections in November.
Conservative attorneys, Republican lawmakers and pro-business groups have claimed Biden exceeded his powers by taking sweeping measures without congressional approval. They called it an unfair government giveaway to relatively wealthy people at the expense of taxpayers not pursuing higher education.
Many Democratic lawmakers facing tough re-election battles have distanced themselves from the plan.
The six states sued in September. Lawyers for the administration countered that the Department of Education has “broad powers to administer the state’s student finance programs.” A court filing states that the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003, or HEROES Act, allows the Secretary of Education to waive or modify the terms of federal student loans in times of war or a national emergency.
“COVID-19 is such an emergency,” the filing reads.
The HEROES Act was enacted after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to help members of the military. The Justice Department says the law allows Biden to reduce or repay student loan debt during a national emergency. Republicans argue the government is misinterpreting the law, in part because the pandemic no longer qualifies as a national emergency.
Justice Department attorney Brian Netter told Autrey at the Oct. 12 hearing that the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is still making waves. He said student loan defaults have skyrocketed over the past 2 1/2 years.
Other lawsuits have also tried to stop the program. Earlier Thursday, Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett denied an appeal by a Wisconsin taxpayer group seeking to halt the debt relief program.
Barrett, who oversees emergency appeals from Wisconsin and neighboring states, did not comment on denying the Brown County Taxpayers Association’s appeal. The group wrote in its Supreme Court filing that it needed an emergency order because the administration could begin canceling outstanding student debt as early as Sunday.
https://www.kvue.com/article/news/nation-world/student-loan-forgiveness-biden-remarks-friday-gop-states-appealing-dismissal/507-0b42b7c4-b1a6-4d7f-b9cc-5c65f74cc030 When will student loans be issued: Biden speaks Friday