Judge Denies Student Loan Forgiveness Challenge

(KFOR NEWS  October 21, 2022)    A federal judge on Thursday dismissed an effort by six Republican-led states, including Nebraska, to block the Biden administration’s plan to forgive student loan debt for tens of millions of Americans.

U.S. District Judge Henry Autrey in St. Louis wrote that because Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas and South Carolina failed to establish they had standing, “the Court lacks jurisdiction to hear this case.”

Suzanne Gage, spokesperson for Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson, said the states will appeal.  She said in a statement that the states “continue to believe that they do in fact have standing to raise their important legal challenges.

Democratic President Joe Biden announced in August that his administration would cancel up to $20,000 in education debt for huge numbers of borrowers. The announcement immediately became a major political issue ahead of the November midterm elections.

The Congressional Budget Office has said the program will cost about $400 billion over the next three decades.  James Campbell, an attorney for the Nebraska attorney general’s office, told Judge Autrey at an Oct. 12 hearing that the administration is acting outside its authorities in a way that will cost states millions of dollars.

The plan would cancel $10,000 in student loan debt for those making less than $125,000 or households with less than $250,000 in income. Pell Grant recipients, who typically demonstrate more financial need, will get an additional $10,000 in debt forgiven.
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