How Biden Plans To Forgive Student Loan Debt

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

On Tuesday, the case brought forth against President Biden’s student loan relief plan is going to reach the Supreme Court for oral arguments.

Biden’s plan would provide federal loan forgiveness for up to $20,000 to millions of eligible Americans. However, the plan is currently facing two different cases. The first one is led by six Republican-led states in the case, Biden v. Nebraska, while the second one is brought forth by two student loan borrowers in the case Department of Education v. Brown.

Student loan forgiveness was one of Biden’s biggest campaign promises and it currently depends on how the arguments in these cases go. The Biden administration has maintained that Education Secretary Miguel Cardona has the authority to forgive the debt under the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act. The HEROES Act was originally passed two decades ago following the 9/11 terror attacks. The law allowed the education secretary to “waive or modify” federal student financial assistance programs during times of military operations or national emergencies. It first started to be used under the Trump administration when they paused student loan payments after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when the country declared a national emergency in 2020.

However, legal observers have questioned if the justices would reach the merits. The Biden administration has maintained that neither of the two groups of challengers has the legal standing required to sue.

However, Biden’s student loan relief plan has already been placed on hold by the lower courts and is now set to be heard by the conservative-majority Supreme Court.