In the wake of legal challenges to the plan for student loan debt forgiveness, the Biden Administration announced that it is extending the pandemic-era pause on payments until June 30, 2023.
President Joe Biden posted a video announcement on social media on Tuesday, Nov. 22. “As Americans continue to recover from the pandemic, my administration’s been working to provide student debt relief to millions of working and middle-class families across the country,” Biden said. “But Republicans’ special interest and elected officials sued to deny this relief, even for their own constituents. But I’m completely confident my plan is legal. But right now, it’s on hold because of these lawsuits.”
Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman, a Trump-appointed federal judge in Fort Worth, TX, ruled that Biden’s student loan plan is unlawful in a lawsuit backed by the Job Creators Network Foundation on behalf of two borrowers. The relief plan was already blocked temporarily by the St. Louis-based 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, as it was considering a lawsuit filed by the Republican Attorney Generals of six states (Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, South Carolina, Kansas, and Arkansas). US Education Secretary Miguel Cardona announced shortly after that an appeal will be filed.
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In a statement to CNBC, Cardona said, “We’re extending the payment pause because it would be deeply unfair to ask borrowers to pay a debt that they wouldn’t have to pay, were it not for the baseless lawsuits brought by Republican officials and special interests.”
The pause will be extended until 60 days after litigation is resolved and the Biden administration is allowed to move forward. If it can’t proceed with its policy and the legal challenges are still unfolding by June 30, 2023, student loan payments will restart 60 days after that.