Judge blocks student loan forgiveness as part of Biden’s new repayment plan

A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked the Department of Education from allowing additional loan forgiveness under a key component of President Joe Biden’s student loan relief plan.

The judge’s order halted the cancellation of loans under the income-based repayment plan Known as SAVE After several states sued the program.

The Biden administration “is foreclosed from further loan forgiveness for borrowers under the savings program in the final rule until this court decides this case on the merits,” said U.S. District Judge John A. Rose wrote.

The SAVE plan came after the Supreme Court last year rejected a broader bid by the Biden administration to have debt under its pandemic relief plan intended to erase up to $20,000 in student loans for about 43 million borrowers.

The judge also rejected the Biden administration’s bid to dismiss the suit, citing the education secretary as standing by the states that brought the suit, saying the “preemptive loan forgiveness provisions … violate the Secretary’s statutory authority.”

The Department of Education had no immediate comment Monday evening.

Missouri State Attorney General Andrew Bailey, representing one of the seven states that brought the suit, praised the ruling.

“By trying to trap working Missourians in Ivy League debt, Joe Biden is undermining our constitutional framework,” Bailey said in a statement. “Only Congress has the power of the purse, not the President. Today’s ruling is a huge victory for the rule of law, and a victory for every American that Joe Biden was forced to pay someone else’s debt.

Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin said: “As Independence Day approaches, another court has reminded President Biden that he is not a king. He cannot go around Congress and unilaterally cancel student loans. He should have learned from Schoolhouse Rock!”

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The states involved in the case are Florida, Georgia, North Dakota, Ohio and Oklahoma.

The states had asked the judge in their suit to declare the plan violated the separation of powers under the Constitution.

Ross said other aspects of the plan, such as lowering monthly payments and limiting interest accruals, benefit borrowers and could continue, adding that the states suing have “not shown that these provisions harmed them.”

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