Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said on Saturday the administration is “moving full speed ahead” on its plans for student loan debt relief, despite a federal appeals court temporarily blocking the program.
“Amid some Republicans trying every which way to block the Biden Administration’s debt relief program, the department is moving full speed ahead with preparations for the lawful implementation of our program so we can deliver relief to borrowers who need it most,” Cardona wrote in a USA Today opinion piece.
The order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit came after six GOP-led states challenged the legality of the loan “forgiveness” program.
In a video message posted Saturday, Cardona said the administration “is not deterred” by the legal challenges.
Amid some Republicans trying to block our student debt relief program, we are moving full speed ahead, preparing for implementation so we can deliver relief to borrowers who need it most. pic.twitter.com/g3SMEhbSQz— Secretary Miguel Cardona (@SecCardona) October 22, 2022
While the ruling prevents the administration from offering relief while the case is considered, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said it's not stopping the government from reviewing applications.
President Biden, meanwhile, falsely claimed on Sunday that his student loan bailout was passed by Congress.
"It's passed," he said during a NowThis ‘Make Your Mark’ forum. "I got it passed by a vote or two."
BIDEN on his student loan debt bailout: "It's passed. I got it passed by a vote or two."— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) October 23, 2022
What is he talking about? Congress never voted on it. pic.twitter.com/62Ov7znOfZ
In reality, the administration justified the program through the 9/11-era HEROES Act, which the Education Department claims "grants the Secretary authority that could be used to effectuate a program of targeted loan cancellation directed at addressing the financial harms of the COVID-19 pandemic."
How's he doing it?— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) August 24, 2022
Biden is employing a post-9/11 law that allows for debt cancelation "in connection with a war or other military operation or national emergency."
Which emergency? "[T]he present COVID-19 pandemic," per a Dept of Ed memo issued yesterday.