Supreme Court Considers Biden’s Policy

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

On Thursday (December 1), the Biden administration’s student debt relief program got a glimmer of hope as the Supreme Court agreed to review the program.

February 2023 was indicated in the brief unsigned order as the date the Supreme Court would hear arguments in the case, a response to the Biden administration’s request that the court clear one of the challenges blocking the policy.

Currently, Biden’s student debt relief program is on hold as two rulings halted the plan.

Thursday’s order that February would be the soonest the Supreme Court could get to the Biden administration’s appeal stems from a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit based in St. Louis.

Attempts to revive the program were derailed on Wednesday (November 30) evening when, separately, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit based in New Orleans denied the Biden administration’s request to revive the policy.

The student debt relief program would forgive eligible borrowers making less than $125,000 a year $10,000 in debt relief, while Pell grant recipients making less than $125,000 would be eligible for $20,000 in debt forgiveness.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that student loan forgiveness would cost the federal government $400 billion over the next 30 years.

When the Department — on behalf of the administration — appealed the decision by lower courts it argued that the ruling left “vulnerable borrowers in untenable limbo” and that the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals was frustrating the “government’s ability to respond to the harmful economic consequences of a devastating pandemic.”