Biden administration’s student loan relief portal stops accepting applications


President Joe Biden’s administration announced on Friday that it would stop accepting student loan forgiveness applications after a Texas federal judge ruled the program illegal a day earlier.

The webpage, which previously led to a simple form for submitting requests for student debt relief, now displays a message informing users that “student loan debt relief is blocked.” Biden announced the plan in August ahead of November’s midterm elections, aimed at canceling up to $10,000 in debt for borrowers earning less than $125,000 a year, while those who received Pell grants would see up to $20,000 of their canceled debt.


“The courts have issued orders blocking our student debt relief program. Therefore, at this time, we are not accepting applications. We are seeking to overturn these orders,” the website states. A second paragraph explains that the Department of Education will “consider your application” if one has already been submitted, noting “We will post information as soon as further updates become available”.

President Joe Biden listens to his meeting with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, July 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Susan Walsh/AP

The DOE and the administration vowed to fight Thursday’s court order, but were “disappointed by the Texas court’s decision to block loan relief going forward.”

“The Department of Justice has appealed today’s decision on our behalf, and we will continue to keep borrowers informed of our efforts to provide targeted relief,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona wrote in a statement. a statement.

The DOJ has filed a Notice of Appeal with the
United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit
hours after U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman’s decision on Thursday to block Biden’s student debt relief plan. The Louisiana-based appeals court is known to be composed mostly of Republican-appointed judges.

“No one can plausibly deny that this is either one of the greatest delegations of legislative power to the executive or one of the greatest exercises of legislative power without congressional authority in the history of the United States,” said Pittman, appointed by the former president. Donald Trump, wrote in the order of 26 pages.

The lawsuit was filed by the conservative Job Creators Network foundation in October on behalf of a borrower who did not qualify for the full $20,000 debt relief and another who is not not eligible for the program.

“This attempted illegal student loan bailout would have done nothing to address the root cause of unaffordable tuition: greedy, bloated colleges that raise tuition far more than inflation year after year while sitting on $700 billion in endowments,” Elaine Parker, president of JCNF, told the Washington Examiner in a report.

In a separate legal battle over the debt relief plan, the United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit granted a stay against the program after six Republican-led states sued.

Several lawsuits have been filed against the debt relief plan, including plaintiffs from Indiana and Wisconsin who filed emergency petitions with the Supreme Court, which were dismissed for what many legal experts consider it a lack of quality. Several other challenges are pending in the lower courts.


While House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre criticized Pittman’s decision in a statement Thursday, saying the lawsuits against the president’s debt relief package were “backed by Republican special interests extremes”.

The plan to write off outstanding student debt will cost the country about $400 billion, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, while another model budget pegged the cost at nearly $1 trillion. .


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