The federal judge who blocked Biden's student-loan forgiveness plan is playing 'politics instead of actually following the law,' Elizabeth Warren says
- A federal judge in Texas blocked Biden's student-loan forgiveness plan last week.
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren said the judge was playing politics "not actually following the law."
- Biden's administration appealed the decision, but debt relief cannot be implemented right now.
One of the most vocal lawmakers advocating for student-debt cancellation isn't pleased with a recent decision that blocked the relief.
On Thursday, a federal judge in Texas appointed by former President Donald Trump ruled that President Joe Biden's plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student debt is illegal. The decision was in response to a lawsuit filed by two student-loan borrowers who sued because they didn't qualify for the full relief. While conservative lawmakers lauded the move, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was among the Democrats who did not believe the judge's decision was legally sound.
"I don't have any doubt that the president has the legal authority to cancel this student loan debt," Warren told NBC News on Sunday. "President Trump did it, President Obama did it, and President Biden has actually done it up to now on student-loan debt payments. But we have a court down in Texas, and if they're going to play politics instead of actually following the law, they do put the program at risk."
"This is one of the clearest differences between Democrats and Republicans," Warren added. "Democrats, led by Joe Biden, are out there saying, 'We hear you on what it's like to get crushed by student loan debt. We know what that means.' And so we're here to try to help. The Republicans — they got nothing. They say no, the only people that they're willing to fight for are billionaires and billionaire corporations and conspiracy theorists. Democrats fight for working people, and when we fight for working people, we win."
Biden's Department of Justice appealed the court's decision. His administration has maintained it will prevail in court and continues to stand behind its authority to use the HEROES Act of 2003, which gives the Education Secretary the ability to waive or modify student-loan balances in connection with a national emergency, like COVID-19.
Following the ruling, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement that "for the 26 million borrowers who have already given the Department of Education the necessary information to be considered for debt relief – 16 million of whom have already been approved for relief – the Department will hold onto their information so it can quickly process their relief once we prevail in court."
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona wrote on Twitter on Friday, "we believe strongly that the Biden-Harris Student Debt Relief Plan is lawful and necessary to give borrowers and working families breathing room as they recover from the pandemic and to ensure they succeed when repayment restarts."
At this point, the millions of borrowers who applied for debt relief are in limbo, waiting to see how federal courts will rule on the student-loan forgiveness. Along with the recent ruling in Texas, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has also placed a temporary stay on the debt relief, in response to a lawsuit filed by six Republican-led states who argued the relief would hurt their states' tax revenues. It's unclear when the 8th Circuit will make a decision to either dismiss the case, or continue halting relief.Read the original article on Business Insider