U.S. appeals court temporarily blocks Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan

WASHINGTON, Oct 21 (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court on Friday temporarily blocked President Joe Biden’s plan to cancel billions in college student debt, a day after a judge dismissed six Republican-led states Litigation against loan forgiveness program. .

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit granted an emergency stay barring any student debt discharge under the program until the court ruled on the long-standing injunction filed by the states, while appealing Thursday’s ruling against them.

St. The St. Louis-based appeals court also ordered an expedited briefing schedule on the matter.

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U.S. District Judge Henry Autry in St. Lewis ruled Thursday that while the six Republican-led states posed “significant and significant challenges” to the debt relief program, he dismissed the lawsuit on the grounds that they lacked the necessary legal standing to pursue the case.

Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas and South Carolina say Biden’s plan bypasses Congress’ authority and threatens states’ future tax and investment or service student loans. Money earned by state entities.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office calculated in September that debt relief would cost the government about $400 billion.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday’s interim order will not prevent borrowers from applying for student debt relief, nor will it prevent the Biden administration from reviewing applications and preparing them for forwarding to loans service organization.

“We encourage eligible borrowers to join the nearly 22 million Americans that the Department of Education already has access to,” Jean-Pierre said.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about the administration’s plan to forgive federal student loan debt during a speech in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., August 24, 2022.REUTERS/Leah Millis

“It is important to note that this order does not overturn the trial court’s decision to dismiss the case, nor does it imply that the case is meritorious,” she added. “It simply prevents the debt from being discharged until the (appeals) court makes a decision. .”

Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson, who is leading the lawsuit, welcomed the temporary stay.

“It is important for the courts to analyze legal issues involving the power of the president before transferring more than $400 billion in debt to American taxpayers,” he said.

The case reaching the Eighth Circuit is one of those brought by conservative state attorneys general and legal groups seeking to halt the debt-relief plan announced by Democrat Biden in August.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett denied an emergency request without explanation to stay in a separate challenge from the Brown County Taxpayers Association in Wisconsin Debt relief program, Autry ruled.

Biden said the U.S. government will forgive up to $10,000 of student loan debt for borrowers earning less than $125,000 a year, or $250,000 for married couples. Borrowers who receive Pell Grants to benefit low-income college students will have debt cancellations of up to $20,000.

The policy delivers on a promise Biden made during his 2020 presidential campaign to help debt-ridden former college students.

Democrats hope the policy will increase their support on Nov. 1. 8 midterm elections, congressional control is threatened.

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Reporting by Eric Beech in Washington and Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Nate Raymond and Ismail Shakil; Editing by Grant McCool and Lincoln Feast

Our Standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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