In August, the White House announced that President Joe Biden was reallocating student loan debt, which they referred to as student loan debt "cancellation." Since September, the program has multiple faced lawsuits, and is currently on hold. On Wednesday, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an appeal from the Biden administration asking that there a hold on a lower court's decision so that the program could continue. That brings us to Thursday, with the U.S. Supreme Court now also weighing in, in a case known as Biden v. Nebraska. There have also been lawsuits in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. While the Court announced oral arguments will be expedited, they still won't come until February, and the program will still be on hold until then, as The Washington Post reported.
The report discussed how there have been several lawsuits:
The Biden plan would cancel up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt for more than 40 million borrowers. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit had granted the request of a coalition of six Republican-led states to impose a nationwide injunction on the plan amid ongoing litigation.
In a separate case, a federal judge in Texas on Nov. 10 declared the forgiveness plan unlawful. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit on Wednesday denied a request by the Justice Department to put a hold on that ruling while the court considers the merits of the administration’s appeal.
The issue comes before a court skeptical of the administration’s authority to impose pandemic-related relief without express approval from Congress.
At the heart of lawsuits has been how Biden went forward with such a far-reaching move by executive order, which even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) acknowledged months before could not be done. Not only has the president overstepped his authority, but he's also misled on it.
During an October interview with NowThis, Biden claimed that he "signed a law," going on to describe the student loan debt reallocation program, which, as he himself explained during this interview, applied to those who "if you went to school, if you applied for a Pell Grant, you qualify for $2,000, excuse me, uh, you qualify for $20,000 in debt forgiveness. Secondly, if you don't have one of those loans, you just get $10,000 written off. It's passed, I got it past by a vote or two, and it's in effect."
BIDEN: I “signed a law” to cancel student loan debt and “got it passed by a vote or two.” pic.twitter.com/AWKTlCjfeI— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) October 24, 2022
Despite it being abundantly clear that the president was referring to the student loan debt program, the White House tried to spin the interview, as they often do when Biden speaks. In this case, the claim was that the president was referring to the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, which passed on party lines.
Posted to the White House website on Thursday is a statement from Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, which was only just shared to her official Twitter account in the form of a thread after the news broke.
This program is necessary to help over 40 million eligible Americans struggling under the burden of student loan debt recover from the pandemic and move forward with their lives.— Karine Jean-Pierre (@PressSec) December 1, 2022
As we previously announced, student loan payments will remain paused while the Supreme Court resolves the case.— Karine Jean-Pierre (@PressSec) December 1, 2022
It does not look like the U.S. Department of Education, nor Secretary Miguel Cardona have issued a statement on the Court's review, despite how both accounts have since tweeted and retweeted about other topics.
In an email dated November 23 to those who had applied for the program, Cardona referenced the lawsuits to inform people that numerous lawsuits "have blocked our ability to discharge your debt at present." The email also added that they "believe strongly that the lawsuits are meritless."
In light of student loan debt program in the news quite bit over lawsuits, including and especially when it comes to how SCOTUS will review, here’s an excerpt from a 11/23 email Education Sec. Miguel Cardona sent out to those who filled out applications, referencing the lawsuits. pic.twitter.com/TS2MpttEBJ— Rebecca Downs (@RebeccaRoseGold) December 1, 2022
The Biden administration also made news last week for on November 22 extending the pause on repayments for Americans' student loans until the end of June 2023, yet again. Such is yet another instance in which this administration has gone back on its word. In a video statement posted to his official Twitter account that same day, Biden called out Republicans for trying to end his student loan debt program as to why he was issuing yet another pause.
I'm confident that our student debt relief plan is legal. But it’s on hold because Republican officials want to block it.— President Biden (@POTUS) November 22, 2022
That's why @SecCardona is extending the payment pause to no later than June 30, 2023, giving the Supreme Court time to hear the case in its current term. pic.twitter.com/873CurlHFZ
A pinned tweet from the U.S. Department of Education, also on November 22, touts the pause, including a press release titled "Biden-Harris Administration Continues Fight for Student Debt Relief for Millions of Borrowers, Extends Student Loan Repayment Pause."
BREAKING: ED has announced an extension of the pause on student loan repayment, interest, & collections as the Biden Admin asks the Supreme Court to review the lower-court orders preventing ED from providing debt relief for tens of millions of Americans. https://t.co/AWOeuk4EQQ pic.twitter.com/Pj1lmBZoix— U.S. Department of Education (@usedgov) November 22, 2022