by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News November 23, 2022
A pause in the payment of student loans that was put in place in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic has been extended for the sixth time by Team Biden.
The pause in payments, which had been set to expire in January, will be extended until June 30 or until litigation which blocked Team Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan is resolved, the White House said on Tuesday.
If the litigation has not been resolved by June 30, payments will resume 60 days after that, the White House said.
“I’m completely confident that my plan is legal,” Joe Biden said in a video announcement. “But 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 in August announced he would cancel up to $20,000 in debt per eligible borrower, but the move was quickly met with legal challenges.
Earlier this month, a federal judge in Texas ruled that Biden’s student loan forgiveness program is unlawful.
Judge Mark Pittman, a Trump appointee to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, ruled in favor of the conservative advocacy group Job Creators Network, which brought suit on behalf of two student loan borrowers. One of the borrowers was ineligible for Biden’s loan forgiveness program, and the other did not qualify for the entire $20,000 forgiveness.
In his ruling, Judge Pittman quoted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said the president “does not” have “the power for debt forgiveness,” and noted that it must be accomplished through an act of Congress.
In September, six states filed a lawsuit aimed a blocking Team Biden’s planned cancellation of hundreds of billions of dollars in student loan debt.
Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Carolina said in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Missouri that Congress did not authorize the debt cancellation, meaning Team Biden lacked the legal authority to take the action.
Team Biden last week asked the Supreme Court to reinstate the loan forgiveness plan after it had been blocked by the federal appeals court.
The moratorium on student loan payments does not apply to borrowers with privately held loans.
About 45 million people in the U.S. have student debt. The Federal Reserve estimated that in the third quarter of 2022, people owed more than $1.7 trillion in student loans.