Student Loan Forgiveness Limbo: What local experts have to say about the newest roadblock

This week, the 8th circuit court joined Judge Pittman granting an injunction to six states that agreed with the ruling.
Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 5:43 PM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — A judgement from Texas late last week halted the Biden Administration’s student loan forgiveness plan.

Federal Judge Mark Pittman ruled that the president does not have authority to use an executive action for this type of program.

So, what now for those who qualified for the program?

“Hate to keep saying this, all you have to do is wait to see whether or not that application does go back online, which may or may not happen,” said Jacob Channel a Sr. Economist.

This week, the 8th circuit court joined Judge Pittman granting an injunction to six states that agreed with the ruling.

But there is far from a consensus on what is... or is not... within the president’s power.

“It’s worth noting that a majority of judges thus far have found that the people suing do not have standing, but there are some key exceptions,” said Channel.

The back-and-forth legal challenges are likely to swirl around the forgiveness plan for years as the law lacks clarity on this sort of issue.

“When you look at the federal law that the president is relying on it doesn’t talk about debt relief,” said Richard Seamon from the University of Idaho College of Law.

The law is a pandemic-era relief bill, that allows the president to use federal funds during a state of emergency to alleviate financial burdens on citizens.

The relief plan was something former president Trump considered, but his team determined it was overreach by the executive branch.

“This administration plan has an uphill battle. This is usually something we think about Congress, Congress is the one that is the money source and regulator and distributor,” said Seamon.

Seamon believes legal challenges surrounding student loan forgiveness could last right up to the next election cycle.