st. LOUIS (AP) — A federal appeals court issued an executive order late Friday temporarily blocking President Joe Biden’s plan to cancel billions of dollars in federal student loans.
The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a stay while it considers a motion to block a loan cancellation program from six Republican-led states. The stay ordered the Biden administration not to act on the program while it considers appeals.
This is breaking news. Here’s AP’s previous story:
st. LOUIS (AP) — Her Republican-led attorneys in six states are asking a federal appeals court to reconsider efforts to block the Biden administration’s program to forgive hundreds of millions of dollars in student loan debt.
Hours after U.S. District Judge Henry Autry of St. Louis ruled that Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, and South Carolina failed to establish status, the U.S. Eighth Circuit A notice of appeal to the Court of Appeal has been filed. “The Court does not have jurisdiction to hear this case.”
Separately, the six states also sought an injunction in the district court barring the government from implementing the debt forgiveness plan until the appeal process is completed.
Delaware State University is a historically black university and the majority of its students receive federal Pell Grants. Biden said Friday that nearly 22 million people have applied for loan relief in the week since his administration made online applications available.
The plan, announced in August, will write off $10,000 of student loan debt for people earning less than $125,000 or households earning less than $250,000. Pell grant recipients who typically demonstrate more financial need are also forgiven of her $10,000 debt.
The Congressional Budget Office says the program will cost about $400 billion over the next 30 years. James Campbell, an attorney in the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, told Autry at a hearing on Oct. 12 that the administration is acting outside of the agency in ways that cost the state millions of dollars. said.
Cancellation applies to federal student loans and Parent Plus loans used to attend undergraduate and graduate school. A current college student is eligible if the loan is paid before her July 1st. Under the plan, 43 million borrowers will be eligible for debt forgiveness and 20 million debts could be completely canceled, according to the administration.
The announcement quickly became a major political issue ahead of November’s midterm elections.
Conservative lawyers, Republican lawmakers, and business-minded groups allege that Biden exceeded his authority by taking such drastic action without congressional consent. He called it an unfair government present to the relatively wealthy at the expense of taxpayers who did not receive higher education.
Faced with an intense reelection race, many Democrats have stayed away from the plan.
Biden on Friday accused Republicans who criticized his relief program of “their anger is wrong and hypocritical.” He noted that some Republican officials have been forgiven of their debts and pandemic relief loans.
Six states filed lawsuits in September. The administration’s attorney countered that the Department of Education has “broad authority to administer federal student financial aid programs.” The Higher Education Relief and Opportunities Act of 2003 (HEROES Act) allows the Secretary of Education to waive or change the terms of federal student loans in times of war or national emergency, according to court filings. .
“COVID-19 is a very urgent matter,” Filing said.
The HEROES Act was enacted to assist members of the military after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The Justice Department says the law allows Biden to reduce or eliminate student loan debt during a national emergency. Republicans say the administration misunderstands the law. Part of the reason is that the pandemic no longer qualifies as a national emergency.
Justice Department attorney Brian Netter told Autry at a hearing on Oct. 12 that the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic is still reverberating. Student loan defaults have skyrocketed in the past two and a half years, he said.
Other lawsuits also seek to suspend the program. Earlier Thursday, Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett dismissed an appeal from a group of Wisconsin taxpayers seeking to suspend the debt forgiveness program.
Barrett, who oversees expedited appeals from Wisconsin and neighboring states, had no comment on dismissing an appeal from the Brown County Taxpayers Association. It also writes that an emergency order is necessary because it may cancel outstanding student debts.
Associate Press reporter Darlene Superville contributed from Dover, Delaware.
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