A case in point is a lawsuit by six Republican-led states, led by Nebraska and Missouri. A second case was brought by a conservative advocacy group on behalf of two Texas student loan borrowers who were partially or completely excluded from the program.

The brief filed Wednesday largely echoes the legal arguments the Biden administration has been making in lower courts over the past several months.

It argues, first, that the Supreme Court should dismiss the case because borrowers from GOP states and Texas do not have legal standing to bring the case. But, the Biden administration argues, the program is clearly legal in any case.

Administration officials argue that they have the authority to cancel large amounts of debt under the law of the HEROES Act, 2003, which gives the Department of Education the power to waive laws that would normally be invoked during national emergencies. Federal regulates student loans.

The brief states that Education Secretary Miguel Cardona’s “actions fall comfortably within the plain text of the Heroes Act”.

The brief also bemoans lower court rulings that have grounded the program since this fall.

The Justice Department wrote, “The lower courts’ orders wrongfully deprived the Secretary of State of his statutory authority to provide targeted student-loan debt relief to borrowers affected by national emergencies, leaving millions of economically vulnerable borrowers in limbo.” are in.”

The Justice Department framed the student loan relief program as a logical way for the Biden administration to end the unprecedented pause on student loan payments since March 2020.

The Justice Department wrote in its brief, “The Biden administration has determined that ending that pause without providing some additional relief for low-income borrowers could cause delinquency and default rates to rise above pre-pandemic levels.” ” “This Court should not be forced to that harmful and destabilizing result.”

Republican officials and conservative groups both argue that the Biden administration is using the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext to sidestep congressional approval for a sweeping new program that would cost hundreds of billions of dollars. They both argue that the program is completely illegal and an abuse of authority.

The states argue that the debt relief plan would reduce tax revenue or other funding that belongs to state-owned entities that own, manage or invest in federal student loans. A key part of their argument hinges on how the debt relief plan would affect the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority, better known as Mohela, the loan servicing company created by the state of Missouri.

Two Texas loan borrowers argue that they have been injured because they were illegally denied an opportunity to respond before the administration’s plan was finalized. They say they would have advocated for a more comprehensive program that would have provided them with more benefits.

The Education Department has approved nearly 16 million borrowers for loan forgiveness under a debt relief program that has been stalled by court orders since the fall. According to the Department of Education, about 10 million additional borrowers are in line for relief.

Biden administration officials have placed a moratorium on federal student loan payments and interest while the Supreme Court considers the matter. The administration has said that payments may remain suspended till August 30.

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