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Two federal courts block parts of Biden's student debt forgiveness plan

Judges in Missouri and Kansas blocked further reductions in monthly payments for millions of borrowers starting in July as well as more debt cancelation.

El Presidente Joe Biden pronuncia un discurso

(Cordon Press)

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Two federal courts on Monday blocked part of the student debt forgiveness plan that Joe Biden has been enforcing since February of this year.

Judges in Missouri and Kansas blocked some measures included in the SAVE loan repayment program from being implemented. Specifically, explained Politico, the Biden administration will be stopped from further reducing monthly payments for millions of borrowers beginning in July as well as writing off more debt under the program. However, they detailed, this will in no way affect people whose debt has been forgiven.

In the Kansas case, explains the AP, District Judge Daniel Crabtree took a position in favor of state Attorney General Kris Kobach, who acted on behalf of the state and 10 others. Thus, Crabtree did accept the various parts of the program that allow students who borrowed $12,000 or less to be eligible for debt forgiveness if they make all payments for 10 years. Before, borrowers had to make 25 years of payments in order to be considered for forgiveness.

What they will ban, Crabtree explained, is the reduction of monthly expenses for students with larger loans and who requested a forgiveness period of 20 to 25 years.

In Missouri, District Judge John Ross blocked different parts than Crabtree did, also in reference to a ruling filed by Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey. In his case, the order indicates that the government will not be able to forgive loan balances in the future but that, unlike Kansas, they will be able to reduce monthly payments.

Both attorneys general, Bailey and Kobach, issued a statement asserting that the two courts' decision was a victory against the Biden administration, widely criticized for what is seen as its signature measure:

"Only Congress has the power of the purse, not the President. Today’s ruling was a huge win for the rule of law, and for every American who Joe Biden was about to force to pay off someone else’s debt."Andrew Bailey, Missouri attorney general

The White House has yet to comment on the rulings. The leaders of the Student Borrower Protection Center did make a statement. They are in favor of eliminating student debt and asserted that the rulings by both judges are ultimately "partisan legislation" and "a recipe for chaos in the entire student loan system."