The Supreme Court justices skeptically questioned the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness plan in an oral argument on Tuesday.
Two student borrowers and six Republican-led states sued over the plan. So far, more than 26 million people have applied for $10,000 to $20,000 in student loan forgiveness. More than 16 million of the applicants have been approved.
The plan will cost $400 billion over 30 years, the Congressional Budget Office said. But a different analysis by the nonpartisan Penn Wharton Budget Model group estimates the loan forgiveness program could reach much higher, nearly $1 trillion.
What’s the main question before the court? The Biden administration is arguing that the state of emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic gives them the authority to forgive student loans. The 2003 Heroes Act says the Secretary of Education may “waive or modify” statutes so that borrowers are not placed in a worse financial position because of a national emergency.
Justice John Roberts questioned the administration’s definition of modify and seemed to indicate that the plan did more than that.
This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2023, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.