President Joe Biden announced that the pause on federal student loan payments may continue into June of 2023 as the White House fights to continue its student loan forgiveness plan.
The pause first started in March of 2020, to aid students who were financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, Biden’s loan forgiveness plan was struck down by a federal judge in Texas on November 10, causing the White House to challenge the decision in the 5th circuit.
“I’m confident that our student debt relief plan is legal, but it’s on hold because Republican officials want to block it,” Biden said through a video posted on social media platforms. “It isn’t fair to ask tens of millions of borrowers eligible for relief to resume their student debt payments while the courts consider the lawsuit.”
Biden said the pause would coincide with giving the Supreme Court enough time to make its decision on the debt forgiveness plan.
The pause will continue up to 60 days after the student loan forgiveness lawsuit is resolved, but if it is not resolved by June 2023, the moratorium will extend by another 60 days.
When striking down Biden’s student loan plan, Judge Mark T. Pittman called the student loan forgiveness program “unconstitutional,” and in a 26-page decision, concluded that the 2003 HEROES Act did not provide “clear congressional authorization for the Program proposed by the Secretary.”
“In this country, we are not ruled by an all-powerful executive with a pen and a phone,” Pittman said in his conclusion. “Instead, we are ruled by a Constitution that provides for three distinct and independent branches of government.”
The Biden administration said the department of education would keep the information of the 26 million students who already filed for the debt forgiveness, as well as the 16 million who were already approved, in order to “process their relief once we prevail in court.”
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