A second appeals court deals a blow to Biden’s student debt relief plan

Another federal appeals court has rejected President Biden’s attempt to move forward with his student debt relief plan while lawsuits over the program inch toward the Supreme Court.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit refused late Wednesday to lift a ruling from a Texas court that struck down the policy as illegal.

The decision offers more evidence the Supreme Court will have to weigh in on Mr. Biden’s plan, which offers $10,000 in relief to many federal student loan holders and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients.

Previously, the Biden administration asked the justices to reverse an order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit that blocked his plan.

The administration has begun notifying people who are approved for relief even though the program might not survive in court.

Critics of the plan say Mr. Biden usurped powers granted only to Congress, while some plaintiffs claim the relief would make their tax bills go up.

So far, roughly 16 million of 26 million applications have been approved.

Mr. Biden recently extended a pandemic-related pause on student loan payments while litigation plays out.

“I’m completely confident my plan is legal,” Mr. Biden said in a Twitter video. “But it isn’t fair to ask tens of millions of borrowers eligible for relief to resume their student debt payments while the courts consider the lawsuit.”

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