Student Debt Relief Program Struck Down by Supreme Court

The US Supreme Court dealt a blow Friday to student loan borrowers hoping for  relief, ruling 6-3 that President Biden did not have the power to cancel their debt.

The court said Biden was not authorized by the HEROES ACT, and that attempting to do so overstepped the powers of the Education Department.

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts said that Biden’s action was so significant, canceling up to $400 billion, that it required approval from Congress.

Borrowers could have had up to $20,000 in debt canceled by Biden’s program,

 In response to the ruling, NCLC’s Co-Director of Advocacy, Abby Shafroth, issued the following statement:

National Consumer Law Center Co-Director of Advocacy, Abby Shafroth,

“We are deeply disappointed by this decision: It is wrong on the law and threatens the financial security of millions of low-income Americans who are struggling with unaffordable student loan debt. They were counting on debt relief to manage their payments when bills resume in September for the first time in three years.

“Fortunately, the opinion on debt relief is narrow–it is limited to what the Administration can do using national emergency authority under the HEROES Act. It does not prevent the Administration from pursuing debt relief under authority granted by other laws.”

Student loan repayments are expected to begin again in the fall unless the Biden administration comes up with another plan.

The Washington Post reported that, “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) welcomed the court’s student loan case decision. “The American people know that the Biden Administration’s student loan socialism plan would be a raw deal for hardworking taxpayers,” McConnell said. “Now that the Supreme Court has rejected the Administration’s position in Biden v. Nebraska, they can know that it’s illegal.”

This story will update.


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