(DCWatchdog.com) – A US appeals court has stopped President Joe Biden’s student debt relief plan in a fresh legal setback for the controversial Democrat policy plan.
The 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis heeded a preliminary injunction asking the program to be halted while it was being appealed, Newsmax reported.
The new ruling is an extension of a permanent pause ruled on October 21 by the same 8th Circuit panel. The appeal has been filed by the states of Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Arkansas, and South Carolina.
The halt was extended by a three-judge panel of Republican appointees – one appointed by President George W. Bush and two by President Donald Trump.
Monday’s 8th Circuit ruling comes after several days earlier, a US district judge in Texas blocked Biden’s student debt program, arguing that it infringed upon the power of the US Congress to adopt laws.
US District Judge Mark Pittman criticized the way the Biden administration went ahead with the debt relief program at the expense of all US taxpayers without Congressional approval.
Pittman, based in Fort Worth, Texas, is an appointee of President Donald Trump.
“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,” the district judge wrote.
The Biden administration has appealed the Texas ruling and will probably appeal the 8th Circuit ruling as well.
Under President Joe Biden’s plan, the federal government would strike off $10,000 in student loan debt for recipients making less than $125,000 or households with less than $250,000 in income.
Pell Grant recipients usually have higher financial needs and would get $20,000 in debt forgiven.
The program applies to federal student loans for undergraduate and graduate school and Parent Plus loans.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre recently announced that 26 million people had applied for debt relief under President Joe Biden’s plan.
Of those, 16 million applicants have already had their relief approved.
After the Texas ruling against the program, Biden’s aide vowed that the US Department of Education would “quickly process their relief once we prevail in court.”
The legal challenges to the student debt plan make it unclear whether applicants hoping to get their debt canceled would have to restart making payments as of January 1, when Biden’s COVID-19 pandemic pause will expire.
President Joe Biden's plan to forgive student loan debt for millions of borrowers lost another battle in court when a federal appeals court panel agreed to a preliminary injunction halting the program while an appeal plays out.https://t.co/NrYLPQfr6k pic.twitter.com/dJOKzyWMU3
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) November 14, 2022