President Biden on Thursday predicted that a court fight over his student loan forgiveness program would be quickly resolved, and that borrowers would soon see their refunds materialize.
“We’re gonna win that case. I think in the next two weeks you’re gonna see those checks going out,” Biden told Nexstar’s Reshad Hudson in an exclusive interview in Syracuse, N.Y.
A federal appeals court ruling last Friday halted the loan forgiveness program and stopped the administration from disbursing relief while the court considers a challenge from six Republican-led states.
A federal district judge had dismissed the case a day before, ruling that the six attorneys general representing the states did not have standing to sue because they did not demonstrate that the policy directly harms their states.
The White House in August announced plans to forgive up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt for borrowers earning under $125,000, and as much as $20,000 for borrowers who received Pell Grants. The initiative delivered on a campaign promise from Biden, even as it fell short of some progressives to forgive more debt. It also came after loan repayments had been paused since the start of the pandemic in 2020.
Biden last Friday said 22 million Americans had applied for student loan forgiveness in the first week of the applications being available.
But the plan has faced myriad court challenges from conservatives who oppose the policy. Some of those lawsuits have already been dismissed because of lack of standing since the program is voluntary and it’s unclear who it directly harms.
Biden has used the challenges to argue Republicans are opposed to providing relief to middle- and low-income Americans who are buried under student loan debt.
“At a time when people are dealing with a pandemic and at the time that he’s — as you know, late this year, he’s going to lift the pause, he wanted to make sure that the American people, as he says, has a little bit of a breathing room,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday.