Six states urge U.S. Supreme Court to keep block on Biden student debt relief

On Wednesday, six states claimed that President Joe Biden’s proposal to resume his plan to forgive billions of dollars in student debt went beyond the bounds of his administration, and they urged the U.S. Supreme Court to deny the request.

In response to the Biden administration’s appeal for the courts to overturn a lower court’s injunction stopping the programme while the constitutionality of it is being debated, the states of Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Carolina submitted a response. Republicans control government in five of the six states, including Kansas, which also has a Republican attorney general.

Biden’s administration is attempting to “assert power well beyond anything Congress could have envisaged,” according to the states’ complaint. According to the administration, the decision to reject the proposal on November 14 has left millions of debtors in a precarious situation.

The government is also appealing a federal judge’s finding that the programme is illegal from his decision on November 10 in Texas. Following that choice, the government ceased accepting petitions for student debt relief.

Biden stated in August that the U.S. government will cancel up to $10,000 in student loan debt for borrowers making less than $125,000 per year, or $250,000 for married couples, in a measure that would help millions of Americans. Up to $20,000 of student debt will be forgiven for those who earned Pell Grants, which were intended for college students from lower-income families.

The Democratic president’s pledge to assist former college students who are plagued with debt during the 2020 presidential campaign was fulfilled by the programme. The government would spend nearly $400 billion on the debt forgiveness, according to a September estimate by the Congressional Budget Office.

In their complaint, the states opposing the scheme claimed that the debt cancellation plan violated legislative power, jeopardized future state revenues, and harmed the earnings of state organizations that finance or manage student loans.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is located in St. Louis, stopped the programme while it heard an appeal from the states after a federal court dismissed their complaint for lack of standing.

The 8th Circuit’s ruling, according to Biden’s administration, leaves borrowers “uncertain about the extent of their debt and unable to make financial decisions with an accurate knowledge of their future repayment responsibilities,” the Supreme Court was informed.

The administration has indicated that the justices may consider the case directly, without going through the 8th Circuit, and render a ruling by the end of June.

A 2003 statute known as the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act, which permits the government to modify or waive federal student debts during times of war or national disaster, has been the target of many legal challenges questioning Biden’s ability to erase the debt. The pandemic, according to the Biden administration, was such an emergency.

The states who are opposing the programme on Wednesday criticized the rationale. The government “uses it here to place tens of millions of borrowers in a better position by canceling their debts en masse,” they said in their application. The law is intended to prevent borrowers from getting into worse financial situations.