Dover, Delaware — President Joe Biden announced Friday that nearly 22 million people have applied for federal student loan forgiveness in the week since his administration launched an application website, more than half the number the White House believes are eligible for the program.
However, hours after Biden’s announcement, a federal appeals court issued an administrative stay temporarily blocking the student loan cancellation plan. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals issued the stay while considering a motion by six Republican-ruled states to end the program.
During an event at Delaware State University, a historically black college where the majority of students receive Pell Grants, Biden showed off the statistics for the first week since the application system launched last Friday. She officially introduced him to the White House on Monday.RELATED
Biden’s plan calls for $10,000 of federal student loan debt to be forgiven for those earning less than $125,000 a year, or for families earning less than $250,000 a year. Those who have received federal Pell Grants to attend college may apply for an additional $10,000 for forgiveness. The plan makes 20 million people eligible for full cancellation of their federal student debt.
Biden highlighted how easy it is to apply for debt relief, since it doesn’t require users to upload any forms or create an account.
“Guys, it takes less than 5 minutes,” Biden noted. He said the “vast majority” of applicants can do the process from their phones.
At the moment it is not clear what the court ruling means for the 22 million borrowers who have already applied for forgiveness. The Biden administration had promised not to write off any debt before Oct. 23 while fighting legal challenges, but the earliest it was expected to start erasing debt was mid-November.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement late Friday that the suspension does not prevent lenders from applying for the aid, and “does not prevent us from reviewing these applications and preparing them for transmission to servicers.” of loans”.
“It is also important to note that the ruling does not reverse the trial court’s dismissal of the case, nor does it indicate that the lawsuit has merit,” added Jean-Pierre.
Biden lashed out at Republicans who have criticized his aid program, saying “their outrage is wrong and hypocritical.”
“I don’t want to hear it from Republican MAGA officials” who had millions in debt and pandemic relief loans forgiven. He pointed to GOP lawmakers like Reps. Vern Buchanan and Marjorie Taylor Greene, who received loan forgiveness, and Sen. Ted Cruz, who called some student loan recipients “slackers.”
“Who the hell do they think they are?” Biden questioned.
Following the appeals court-ordered suspension, NAACP President Derrick Johnson also called critics of the plan “hypocrites.”
“When we rescue multi-billion dollar corporations, it’s never a problem,” Johnson said. “But when it comes to helping the people who need the help the most, including Pell grant recipients — 51% of which go to students whose families earn less than $20,000 a year — it kind of becomes a challenge. problem,” Johnson said.