Supreme Court to hear arguments over Biden’s student loan forgiveness program

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday announced that it will consider arguments around the legality of the student loan forgiveness program unveiled by President Joe Biden earlier this year.

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The nation’s highest court said in an order that it will hear arguments over the case in February. In the meantime, an injunction suspending implementation of the program will remain in place.

Several lawsuits have been filed since Biden announced the student loan forgiveness program in August, touting it as a boon for working Americans and families. It would provide as much as $20,000 in student loan debt relief for Pell Grant recipients and as much as $10,000 in relief for federal student loan borrowers who make less than $125,000.

Six states — in Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas and South Carolina — were among those to file suit, claiming that the program exceeds the authority granted to the U.S. Secretary of Education and threatens funding for debt servicers.

The case was initially dismissed for lack of standing, though an appeals court later issued an injunction to block implementation of the program pending appeal after determining that at least one of the states had standing to bring the case.

Officials last month asked the Supreme Court to lift the injunction.

The Department of Education earlier extended a pause on student loan repayments until after litigation over the program is resolved, or through June 2023. About 26 million Americans have applied for the debt relief program so far, including 16 million people whose applications have been approved, officials said.

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