WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – President Biden approved student loan forgiveness that could help tens of millions of Americans, but the program is on hold because of lawsuits. However, the Biden administration is still encouraging people to apply for relief now because a ruling is expected soon.
The Biden administration says some 26 million people have applied for student loan forgiveness, but the relief can’t be delivered because of a pending lawsuit brought by Republican states.
“They’re suing me, trying to block relief,” Biden said.
Education secretary Miguel Cardona explained “it’s unfortunate because while we have Republican attorney generals doing this, they’re hurting their own folks. Republicans and Democrats stand to benefit from this.”
A lower court struck down that lawsuit saying the states had no standing to sue, but the debt relief is still pending while the appeals court decides what happens next.
Cardona says he is confident the Biden administration will win “given the HEROES Act and given that we are in a pandemic, a national emergency.”
But the program is not only facing legal opposition as some Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill also want to stop the loan forgiveness.
On Thursday, Senator Marsha Blackburn tweeted “thanks to Biden’s student loan forgiveness, inflation will worsen.”
But the president says Republicans have no room to criticize the relief.
“We have a number of the members of Congress who got significant payment from the PPP program,” Biden explained. “One of them got two million one hundred bucks.”
Of the 26 million applications, 16 million have been approved. But the Biden administration cannot provide the relief until the court allows it.