A court granted an administrative stay against canceling any debt under President Joe Biden’s federal student loan forgiveness program Friday.
The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals made the order at plaintiffs’ request over Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas and South Carolina’s lawsuit, which argues the Biden administration’s mass debt cancellation effort is unconstitutional.
The court set the stay to expire when it rules on an injunction against the cancellation policy, giving the administration until Monday at 5 p.m. CT to respond.
The program is meant to forgive $10,000 of individuals’ federal student loan debt if their annual income is under $125,000 and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients. Biden claimed Friday that over 20 million people had already submitted information for student debt relief consideration.
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“Tonight’s temporary order does not prevent borrowers from applying for student debt relief at studentaid.gov – and we encourage eligible borrowers to join the nearly 22 million Americans whose information the Department of Education already has,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement Friday. “It also does not prevent us from reviewing these applications and preparing them for transmission to loan servicers.”
Jean-Pierre said the administration “will continue to move full speed ahead in our preparations in compliance with this order.”
On Thursday, Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett turned down the Brown County Taxpayers Association’s request to block the program on a temporary basis. The Pacific Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit Sept. 27 deeming Biden’s action “illegal.”