Updated Nov 18, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Biden admin asks SCOTUS to lift ruling blocking student loan relief plan

President Biden speaks on Nov. 10, 2022 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The Biden administration on Friday asked the Supreme Court to lift the lower court ruling that blocked the student loan relief program.

Why it matters: The move marks the latest attempt from the Biden administration to revive its student loan forgiveness plan following numerous legal challenges. Its pause on repayments is set to expire in December.

Driving the news: In the filing, the administration argued that "Congress specifically authorized the Secretary to waive or modify any applicable statutory or regulatory provision ... to ensure that borrowers affected by a national emergency are not worse off in relation to their student loans."

  • Earlier this week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit issued a nationwide emergency motion temporarily blocking the debt relief program.
  • The court had also temporarily blocked the program last month in a lawsuit brought on by six Republican states — one of several legal challenges against the plan.

Context: The Biden administration warned in another court filing this week of "an historically large increase" in federal student loan delinquency and defaults without the plan.

  • If the program took effect, it would cancel up to $20,000 in student debt for Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 for individual borrowers who make under $125,000 per year.
  • President Biden has previously said more than 40 million Americans could benefit from the relief.

Of note: The Department of Education removed the debt relief application from its website last week.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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