TEXAS JUDGE RULES BIDEN’S STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS PLAN UNLAWFUL
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Texas federal judge struck down US President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan on Thursday. US District Judge Mark Pittman, who was appointed by former president Donald Trump, said the plan was ‘one of the largest exercises of legislative power without congressional authority in the history of the United States.’
The student loan forgiveness plan has led to a major debate in the US between the Democrats and Republicans and their supporters.
“In this country, we are not ruled by an all-powerful executive with a pen and a phone. Instead, we are ruled by a Constitution that provides for three distinct and independent branches of government,” Pittman wrote in his order and declared the policy unlawful.
Pittman sided with two borrowers in Texas who say that the government violated federal administrative procedure while implementing the plan.
Biden’s student debt-relief plan has been put on hold by the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals under an emergency stay after six-Republican governed states filed a joint lawsuit against the plan. The US Department of Justice said it would appeal the decision and the White House said it strongly disagrees with the ruling.
“The president and this administration are determined to help working and middle-class Americans get back on their feet, while our opponents — backed by extreme Republican special interests — sued to block millions of Americans from getting much-needed relief,” Karine Jean-Pierre, White House Press Secretary, said in a statement.
The statement said that the Biden administration will not stop fighting for hard working Americans who are in need despite the ‘roadblocks our opponents and special interests try to put in our way’.
The lawsuit in Texas was brought by the Job Creators Network Foundation which is a conservative advocacy group, according to news agency Bloomberg. Two Texans claim their education debt was unfairly excluded from the Biden administration programme.
The two Texans, Maya Brown and Alexander Taylor, say that their debt is not eligible for the full scope of forgiveness under the plan. They claim the Biden administration made arbitrary decisions on the student-debt relief plan and also did not allow for public comment on the proposal.
Biden’s student debt relief program will provide up to $10,000 in debt cancellation for those who are earning less than $125,000 a year. It also applies to couples who file taxes jointly and have an annual income less than $250,000.
The recipients of the Pell Grant, who make up for the majority of the borrowers, will be eligible for an additional $10,000 in debt relief. The Biden administration claims it will help more than 40 million borrowers.
The Bloomberg report says Maya Brown has $17,000 in debt from attending the University of Texas, El Paso and Southern Methodist University and it is ineligible for the debt relief program because it is commercially held.
Alexander Taylor said he borrowed $35,000 to attend the University of Dallas and argued that it is unfair that he is ineligible for the additional $10,000 in relief because he didn’t receive a Pell Grant.