Photo: Getty
  /  10.21.2022

On Friday (Oct. 21), a United States federal appeals court temporarily blocked President Joe Biden’s student loan debt forgiveness program from continuing following an appeal from six Republican-led states.

According to reports, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the states’ emergency petition to put a hold on the student loan debt forgiveness program until the court rules on their request for a longer-term injunction while Thursday’s (Oct. 20) decision against the states is being appealed.

The president had plans to cancel up to $10,000 in student loan debt for borrowers earning less than $125,000 per year or $250,000 for married couples. Borrowers who received Pell Grants, a program that benefits lower-income college students, could have up to $20,000 of their debt canceled. According to reports made by Reuters, in September, the Congressional Budget Office calculated that the student loan debt forgiveness would cost the government about $400 billion.

This plan is supposed to fulfill a promise that Joe Biden made to former college students with debt during his 2020 presidential campaign. He announced that over 22 million people applied for the student loan debt forgiveness following the application’s release earlier this week.

Attorneys generals from Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas and South Carolina originally filed the lawsuit in September, arguing that the Biden Administration does not have the authority to cancel the debt because Congress did not authorize it. They said the plan also threatened the states’ future tax revenues and money earned by state entities that invest in or service the student loans.

But, on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Henry Autrey in St. Louis ruled that while these six Republican-led states had raised “important and significant challenges to the debt relief plan,” they did not demonstrate they are directly harmed by the relief, which is necessary to pursue the case.


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