Biden extends student loan payment pause to June 2023

While the student loan debt forgiveness plan hangs in the balance, Biden is extending the pause.


Grace Smith

President Joe Biden speaks during his visit at the POET Bioprocessing ethanol plant in Menlo, Iowa, on Tuesday, April 12, 2022. Biden also commneted on infrastructure investments to help rural communities.

Liam Halawith, Politics Reporter

The White House announced Tuesday it will extend the pause on student loan debt payment to the middle of 2023.

This extension comes amid legal battles over President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan that would forgive up to $10,000 of student loan debt for eligible borrowers and $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients.

The U.S. Department of Education received the necessary information to provide 26 million Americans with loan forgiveness, and 16 million have been approved. It’s estimated that over 400,000 Iowans would benefit from the plan.

Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced in a press conference on Friday that the administration will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate the plan.

The eighth circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals granted an injunction to a coalition of six Republican-led states, including Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, that sued the administration over the plan. The group argued the administration had no statutory or constitutional authority to leverage the forgiveness plan.

RELATED: Gov. Kim Reynolds sues President Joe Biden over his student loan debt forgiveness plan. 

Jean-Pierre said the administration believes that the lawsuits have no legal merit, and it is well within its mandate.

A Federal District court judge based in Texas ruled that the plan is unconstitutional on Nov. 10. Judge Mark Pittman, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, said the plan usurped the law-making power from Congress.

RELATED: Federal judge strikes down Biden’s student-debt relief program.

Reynolds signed a letter in early September, expressing her opposition to the plan.

“By forcing them to pay for other people’s loans — regardless of income — President Biden’s mass debt cancellation punishes these Americans and belittles the path they chose. This expensive, unlawful plan is an insult to working people and must be stopped,” Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a September press release explaining the lawsuit.

The Biden administration has argued that the forgiveness plan will benefit many Americans who are in financial stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation.

“This is critical breathing room that many middle-class families were looking forward to,” Jean-Pierre said in a press briefing on Friday. “And it’s outrageous that Republican officials and special interest groups are trying to make it harder for these middle-class Americans across the country.”