On Friday, a federal appeals court issued a temporary block of President Joe Biden’s plan to cancel billions of dollars in federal student loans. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals issued the stay while it considers a motion from six Republican-led states to block the loan cancellation program. The stay ordered the Biden administration not to act on the program while it considers the appeal.
It’s unclear what the decision means for the 22 million borrowers who already applied for the relief. The Biden administration had promised not to clear any debt before Oct. 23 as it battled the legal challenges, but the soonest it was expected to begin erasing debt was mid-November.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre encouraged borrowers to continue to apply for the relief, saying the court’s temporary order did not prevent applications or the review of applications.
“We will continue to move full speed ahead in our preparations in compliance with this order,” she said in a statement. “And, the Administration will continue to fight Republican officials suing to block our efforts to provide relief to working families.”