The Supreme Court is considering President Joe Biden’s multi-billion dollar student loan plan

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28: The Supreme Court is entering a partisan legal battle over President Joe Biden’s plan to abolish or reduce student loans held by millions of Americans. The Supreme Court, with its 6-3 Conservative majority Tuesday, will hear arguments in two challenges to the plan, which has so far been blocked by Republican-appointed lower court judges.

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Discussions are scheduled to last two hours but will likely last much longer. The public can listen on the court’s website. According to the Biden administration, 26 million people have applied and 16 million have been approved to forgive up to $20,000 on government student loans. The program is valued at US$400 billion over 30 years. Joe Biden eating ice cream goes viral after US President commented “Our economy is strong as hell” while enjoying ice cream doesn’t go down well with netizens!

“I am confident that the legal authority to carry out this plan exists,” Biden said Monday at a Black History Month event. The president, who once doubted his own authority to largely forgive student debt, first announced the program in August. Legal challenges quickly followed. US President Joe Biden says Pakistan is perhaps “one of the most dangerous nations in the world”.

Republican-led states and lawmakers in Congress, as well as conservative legal circles, oppose the plan as a clear violation of Biden’s executive powers. Democratic-run states and liberal interest groups support the democratic government by asking the court to let the plan go into effect.

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Without them, loan defaults would increase dramatically when the payment pause for loans ends this summer at the latest, the administration says. Payments stopped in 2020 as part of the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The government says a 2003 law commonly known as the HEROES Act allows the Secretary of Education to rescind or change the terms of federal student loans in the context of a national emergency.

The law was primarily intended to prevent soldiers from becoming financially disadvantaged while fighting in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Nebraska and other states that have sued say the plan isn’t necessary to keep the default rate around pre-pandemic levels.

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The 20 million borrowers whose entire loans will be wiped out would receive a “windfall” that will make them better off than they were before the pandemic, states say.

Dozens of borrowers came from across the country to camp out near the courthouse on a wet Monday night, hoping to get a seat for the arguments. Among them was Sinyetta Hill, who said Biden’s plan would erase all but about $500 of the roughly $20,000 she has in student loans.

“I was 18 when I registered for college. I didn’t know it would be such a burden. No student should have to deal with that. Nobody should have to deal with that,” said Hill, 22, who plans to go to law school after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in May.

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Biden’s plan could meet with a frosty reception in the courtroom. Court conservatives have been skeptical of other Biden initiatives related to the pandemic, including vaccination requirements and pauses in evictions. These were largely billed as public health measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.

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The credit relief plan, on the other hand, aims to counteract the economic impact of the pandemic. The national emergency is expected to end on May 11, but the government says the economic fallout will continue despite historically low unemployment and other signs of economic strength.

In addition to debating the authority to forgive student debt, the court will also consider whether the states and two individuals whose challenge also lies before the judges have the statutory right or standing to sue. The parties generally have to prove that they would suffer financial damage and would benefit from a court ruling in their favour.

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A federal judge initially found that there would be no harm to the states and dismissed their lawsuit before an appellate panel said the case could go ahead.

Of the two people who sued in Texas, one has commercially held student loans and the other is eligible for $10,000 in debt forgiveness, not the $20,000 maximum. They would get nothing if they won their case. A decision is expected by the end of June.

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from the Syndicated News feed, LatestLY staff may not have modified or edited the content.)

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