President Joe Biden made headlines this past August when he announced that taxpayers would be saddled with hundreds of billions of dollars in student loan debt.
However, that plan hit a snag on Friday when a federal appeals court issued an order temporarily blocking the program.
Court considers challenge by Republican officials
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals instituted the pause while it considers a challenge filed by Republican officials in six states.
Fox News reported in August that Biden’s plan would provide $10,000 worth of student debt relief to those making less than $125,000 per year, a figure which rises to $20,000 to Pell grant recipients.
In keeping with my campaign promise, my Administration is announcing a plan to give working and middle class families breathing room as they prepare to resume federal student loan payments in January 2023.
I’ll have more details this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/kuZNqoMe4I
— President Biden (@POTUS) August 24, 2022
Nebraska’s Republican Attorney General Doug Peterson is among those challenging the student loan initiative, and he welcomed Friday’s ruling.
“It’s very important that the legal issues involving presidential power be analyzed by the court before transferring over $400 billion in debt to American taxpayers,” the Journal quoted him as saying.
North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr is another Republican who opposes the student loan bailout, and he told the Journal last month,
White House will “move full speed ahead in our preparations”
For her part, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre released a statement in response to Friday’s ruling, saying, “We will continue to move full speed ahead in our preparations in compliance with this order.”
“And the administration will continue to fight Republican officials suing to block our efforts to provide relief to working families,” she continued.
“We encourage eligible borrowers to join the nearly 22 million Americans whose information the Department of Education already has,” the press secretary added.
“It is important to note that the order does not reverse the trial court’s dismissal of the case or suggest that the case has merit. It merely prevents debt from being discharged until the (appeals) court makes a decision,” she explained.