US appeals court halts Biden's billion dollar student debt relief

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said "It's patently unfair to saddle hard-working Americans with the loan debt of those who chose to go to college."

Joshua Young North Carolina

On Friday, the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals sided with six states under GOP leadership who sued the Biden administration to halt the president's student debt relief plan that canceled up to $20,000 for borrowers, and will cost taxpayers nearly 1 trillion dollars.

Fox News reports that the block is temporary and gives the court time to properly work through the "request for an injunction" from the Republican-led states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina, and Arkansas.

The news comes directly after the Supreme Court blocked a Wisconsin group's effort to stall Biden's student loan forgiveness plan.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who is in charge of handling emergency application requests from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, denied the proceeding before even referring it to the full Supreme Court.

Brown County Taxpayers Association alleged that Biden, along with other high-ranking officials and the Department of Education, had "unconstitutionally and unlawfully exercised 'congressional power under the taxing and spending clause of Art. 1, § 8, of the Constitution' by forgiving student loan debt owed to the federal treasury."

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, who is leading Friday's successful attempt, said "It’s patently unfair to saddle hard-working Americans with the loan debt of those who chose to go to college. The Department of Education is required, under the law, to collect the balance due on loans. And President Biden does not have the authority to override that."

On August 24, President Joe Biden announced that he was canceling $10,000 in student loan debt, and up to $20,000 for borrowers who received Pell Grants; a move that will cost taxpayers somewhere between $300 billion and $980 billion over the next 10 years.  Of the 43 million borrowers that would have debt canceled, 27 million people are Pell Grant borrowers, which is roughly 60 percent.

To apply, a single entity must make less than $125,000 a year, and married couples less than $250,000.

Biden's plan translates to roughly $2,000 per taxpayer using the lower end estimates from the Penn Wharton Budget Model. Nearly 45 percent of people who took out federal student loans would have the entirety of their debt canceled under this action.

Biden's plan also extends the payment pause on federal loans until the end of the year, and ensures colleges do not face direct financial consequences.


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