A federal appeals court on Friday halted implementation of President Joe Biden’s student debt relief program, dealing a blow to the administration just days after it began accepting applications from borrowers to have as much as $20,000 in loans canceled.
The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals hit pause on the Biden administration’s efforts while it considers an appeal from officials in six GOP-led states who had their lawsuit against the program dismissed by a federal judge on Thursday.
In its one-page ruling, the court prohibited any student loan debt to be discharged under the program until the court rules on the appeal.
The court said that the Biden administration had until Monday to respond.
President Joe Biden in August announced the program to forgive up to $10,000 for borrowers, and up to $20,000 for those who received Pell Grants. Those who earn less than $125,000 a year, or $250,000 couples who file taxes jointly, are eligible.
The case before the appeals court stems from a lawsuit filed by officials in Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas and South Carolina last month in an effort to block implementation of the administration’s program.