After a court ruled against the plan on Thursday night the Biden administration is no longer taking applications for federal student loan forgiveness.
A note on the forgiveness application page at Studentaid.gov says, “Courts have given orders stopping our student debt relief program.” “Because of this, we’re not taking applications right now. We want to get rid of those orders.”
The forgiveness program has been put on hold because, in August, a federal judge in Texas ruled against President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student debt for tens of millions of Americans.
In his 26-page decision, Judge Mark Pittman of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas wrote, “In this country, we are not ruled by an all-powerful executive with a pen and a phone.” Pittman was hired by former President Donald Trump in 2019 because he agreed with a conservative group called the Job Creators Network Foundation.
The group had said that Biden’s plan was “irrational, arbitrary, and unfair.” They also said that the president was going beyond what he was allowed to do. The complaint said that the White House didn’t follow federal rules when it didn’t ask the public what they thought about its program. The Biden administration said that the decision has already been fought in court by the Justice Department.
“We are very sure that the Biden-Harris Student Debt Relief Plan is legal and necessary,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement. “It will give borrowers and working families time to recover from the pandemic and will help them succeed when they have to start paying back their loans again.” “Even though people are trying to stop our program to help people with debt, we are not giving up.”
The main obstacle for those hoping to bring a legal challenge against Biden’s plan has been finding a plaintiff who can prove they’ve been harmed by the policy. “Such injury is needed to establish what courts call ‘standing,’” said Laurence Tribe, a Harvard law professor. Because of this, Tribe said he was shocked by what the Texas judge said.
The tribe said, “Judge Pittman’s decision was about as wrong and strange as any federal court decision I can remember reading.” “He was wrong to decide the merits without first deciding whether either of the two plaintiffs had standing.”
26 Million People Have Asked For Their Debts To Be Forgiven
On August 24, Biden said that tens of millions of Americans would be able to get their student loans forgiven. If they got a Pell Grant, which is a type of aid for low-income families, they could get up to $20,000, and if they didn’t, they could get up to $10,000.
Long before Biden did what he did — in response to pressure from consumer advocates and other Democrats — Republicans had said that forgiving student loans were a handout to college graduates who already had money. They also said that the president couldn’t get rid of consumer debt without Congress.
Not surprisingly, there were a lot of legal challenges. At least six lawsuits have been filed against the plan of the president so far. At first, the Education Department said that loan forgiveness would happen within six weeks after a borrower applied. The full application went live on October 17, and about 26 million people asked for help in the first three weeks. 16 million of these requests have already been granted.
For now, the department says that it will hold on to the applications of people who have already asked to borrow money. Mark Kantrowitz, an expert on higher education, said that people who want to borrow money should just wait and see what happens.
Kantrowitz said, “The program has been stopped, but the U.S. Department of Education is appealing.” He also said, “The Texas court’s decision is unusual in a number of ways, which could lead to a successful appeal.”
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