Biden administration asks Supreme Court to let student debt relief program go forward

By: Ariane de Vogue and Katie Lobosco via CNN
Biden Admin To Ask High Court To Take Up Student Debt Plan
Patrick Semansky - staff, AP
Light illuminates part of the Supreme Court building on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. The Biden administration plans to ask the Supreme Court to reinstate the president's student debt cancellation plan, according to a Thursday legal filing warning that Americans will face financial strain if the plan remains stalled in court when loan payments are scheduled to restart in January.

The Biden administration asked the Supreme Court on Friday to allow its controversial student loan debt relief program to go into effect while legal challenges play out across the country.

The program promises to deliver up to $20,000 of debt relief for millions of borrowers, but has been on hold after lower courts blocked it nationwide.

About 26 million people had already applied to the program by the time a federal judge froze it on November 10, prompting the government to stop taking applications. No debt has been canceled thus far.

In court papers, Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar argued that “because borrowers who default on their student loans face severe financial consequences — including wage garnishment, long-term credit damage, and ineligibility for federal benefits — Congress specifically authorized the Secretary to waive or modify any applicable statutory or regulatory provision as he deems necessary to ensure that borrowers affected by a national emergency are not worse off in relation to their student loans.”

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