President Biden’s controversial student loan-forgiveness program is being met with lawsuits from various organizations, who are challenging the plan as unconstitutional. Some of the claims have to do with the program’s foundation on the HEROES act.
Last month, the government’s student-loan forgiveness application site officially went live, and actions against the plan are being met in court. The website apparently makes it easy to apply to erase the debt.
“After conducting beta testing over the weekend, President Joe Biden — alongside Education Secretary Miguel Cardona — announced that the application website is officially live, and borrowers can apply for up to $20,000 in debt relief that will start being processed by the Education Department. During his remarks, Biden noted that over 8 million borrowers applied over the weekend without a glitch or any difficulty,” Business Insider reported.
“It means more than 8 million Americans are starting this week on their way to receiving life-changing relief,” Biden said. “Millions more are going to have the opportunity to do it as well. As millions of people fill out the application, we’re going to make sure the system continues to work as smoothly as possible.”
The Insider report added: “Borrowers who submitted their applications during the beta testing period do not need to resubmit — their forms will now begin getting processed. As Biden noted, it takes just five minutes to apply — borrowers just need to enter basic information like their names, email addresses, and Social Security numbers. The department recommends applying before mid-November to ensure relief hits borrowers’ accounts before payments resume in January 2023.”
The initiating of the program just before midterms suggests gaining Democratic votes on Tuesday from those who want to erase debt, as well as Republican votes from those who are outraged at the program. Lawsuits have already been ongoing against the plan.
“Experts believe that one challenge – brought by six states – will likely eventually make it to the high court because it has the fewest procedural hurdles. That case is currently before the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which has issued an administrative stay of the program while it considers the state’s request for a preliminary injunction,” the outlet reported. For the moment, however, Americans can still apply for the loan forgiveness program, the outlet added.
Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett blocked one of the requests last month, and that action is now in appeals.
“Conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett rejected the motion from a Wisconsin group without offering an explanation. The Brown County Taxpayers Association filed the motion Wednesday, asking the court to immediately pause the loan relief program while it moves forward with litigation against the Biden Administration,” Forbes reported.
“A federal district court tossed a lawsuit from the group aiming to stop the program, which they have since appealed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The motion to the Supreme Court argued the program should be halted immediately because Biden overstepped his authority by authorizing loan forgiveness, which they claimed will lead to a gargantuan increase in the national debt,” the outlet added.
Now another lawsuit, a request filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation, CNN reported, was blocked as well on Friday by Justice Barrett.
The Biden administration’s program remains blocked for the time being, although the application is open on the new website and the objections are being heard in court, Conservative Brief reports.
Biden spoke about the pending lawsuits on Monday, saying he does not believe the groups who are objecting have any standing.
“I will never apologize for helping working Americans and middle-class people as they recover from the pandemic,” Biden said. “Especially not the same Republicans who voted for a $2 trillion tax cut in the last administration.”
Scott Buchanan, executive director of the Student Loan Servicing Alliance, told Business Insider that loan companies can’t predict when borrowers may get relief because they are not involved in the implementation process of the plan under the Biden administration.
“We’re really waiting on more firm information about dates and timelines which we don’t really have yet,” Buchanan said.
“Biden’s plan would cancel up to $20,000 in student loan debt for Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 for other borrowers, for people earning up to $125,000 a year or part of a household where total earnings are no more than $250,000. Biden enacted the debt relief plan under the HEROES Act, which was passed after the Sept. 11 attacks sparked an American-led military campaign aimed at terrorism. The act gave the administration authority to forgive student loan debt in association with military operations or national emergencies,” USA Today reported.
The program has always stood under the HEROES act, not just implying but outright stating that citizens not having served in the military should get the same educational loan forgiveness as those who are serving or have served in active duty in the United States military, putting their lives on the line for freedom and the United States.