White House files Supreme Court emergency appeal to rescue $500B student debt handout

President Biden’s administration is requesting the U.S. Supreme Court to preserve its ill-fated program to forgive hundreds of billions of dollars in student debt.

The Justice Department is asking the Supreme Court to block previous rulings out of Texas and Missouri that ruled the program unconstitutional. 

The department claims that stalling the program could put Americans in financial difficulty, as payments on student loans are expected to resume in January after years of a pandemic-related grace period.

“The Eighth Circuit’s erroneous injunction leaves millions of economically vulnerable borrowers in limbo, uncertain about the size of their debt and unable to make financial decisions with an accurate understanding of their future repayment obligations,” the Friday appeal reads. 

BIDEN’S STUDENT LOAN HANDOUT STRUCK DOWN BY FEDERAL JUDGE IN TEXAS

Student loan borrowers stage a rally in front of the White House to celebrate President Biden canceling student debt and to begin the fight to cancel any remaining debt in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 25, 2022.

Student loan borrowers stage a rally in front of the White House to celebrate President Biden canceling student debt and to begin the fight to cancel any remaining debt in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 25, 2022. (Paul Morigi/Getty Images for We the 45m)

A federal judge in Texas struck down the White House’s student loan handout last week, ruling in a case brought by the Job Creators Network Foundation. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, argues that the plaintiffs were denied due process under the Administrative Procedure Act to object to the move during a comment period.

“Whether the Program constitutes good public policy is not the role of this Court to determine. Still, no one can plausibly deny that it is either one of the largest delegations of legislative power to the executive branch, or one of the largest exercises of legislative power without congressional authority in the history of the United States,” U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman wrote Nov. 10.

STUDENT LOAN HANDOUT: NEW LAWSUIT SAYS BIDEN DIDN’T FOLLOW ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES

Student loan debt holders take part in a demonstration outside the White House staff entrance at the Executive Offices in Washington, D.C., to demand that President Biden cancel student loan debt on July 27, 2022.

Student loan debt holders take part in a demonstration outside the White House staff entrance at the Executive Offices in Washington, D.C., to demand that President Biden cancel student loan debt on July 27, 2022. (Jemal Countess/Getty Images for We, The 45 Million)

Biden’s plan, which aims to cancel up to $20,000 in student loan debt for Pell Grant recipients in college and up to $10,000 for others who borrowed using federal student loans, is set to cost taxpayers over $400 billion. Since the administration’s announcement, a handful of legal challenges have been filed in courts across the nation, as states and advocacy groups work to the plan.

Missouri led Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and South Carolina in filing a lawsuit to challenge the program, claiming that the Department of Education lacks the authority to cancel debt to this degree.

“This Court should vacate, or at minimum narrow, the injunction pending appeal entered by the court of appeals,” the Biden administration’s letter states. “If, however, the Court declines to vacate the injunction, it may wish to construe this application as a petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment, grant the petition, and set this case for expedited briefing and argument this Term.”

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President Biden announced that he was forgiving up to $20,000 in student loan debt, carrying an estimated price tag of $300 billion.

President Biden announced that he was forgiving up to $20,000 in student loan debt, carrying an estimated price tag of $300 billion. (Bonnie Cash/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The program’s constitutionality has been questioned from the outset, with Republicans pointing to the unprecedented power the move would allot to the executive branch.

Fox News’ Kelly Laco and Gabriel Hays contributed to this report.

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