politics

Biden’s student debt relief package hits 22 million applications

In preparing to launch the student debt relief program, Biden said he wanted to avoid the “position that Barack and I were in, in terms of the Affordable Care Act,” referring to the disastrous launch of the HealthCare.gov website in 2013.

“We made sure we tested it,” Biden said of the debt relief request, which is available on StudentAid.gov.

The flood of demands comes as GOP officials and conservative groups rush to block the program in court before the administration begins paying back the loans, a possibility as early as this weekend.

Biden won several early legal victories over his debt relief package earlier this week.

Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett on Thursday declined to halt the policy in response to an emergency request from a conservative group representing Wisconsin taxpayers.

Separately, a federal judge in Missouri on Thursday dismissed a legal challenge from six Republican states, ruling that they had failed to spell out the type of harm needed for their legal challenge to be heard in court.

And yet another federal judge on Friday dismissed, for the second time, a legal challenge brought by a conservative group on behalf of borrowers who say they will be made worse by Biden’s debt relief because of the tax consequences of the state.

But the legal battles over the unprecedented debt relief program are far from over. The matter could potentially end up in the Supreme Court in a matter of days or weeks.

The Republican attorneys general appealed the lower court’s decision in their case to a federal appeals court. They urged the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to issue an emergency order temporarily suspending the debt relief program by Saturday morning.

The Biden administration has indicated in court papers that it could begin repaying loans as early as Sunday. But the Ministry of Education has not publicly specified when this process will begin.

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