The Biden administration’s effort to reduce student loan debt was invalidated on Thursday by a federal judge in Texas.
The Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman’s decision is being appealed, according to a filing made by the Biden administration on Thursday night. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed the appeal in a statement that read, “We strongly disagree with the District Court’s decision on our student debt relief program.”
After the Job Creators Network Foundation filed a complaint last month, alleging that the administration had broken federal regulations, Pittman deemed the program to be illegal.
In the lawsuit, two borrowers accuse the administration of depriving them the chance to voice their concerns in public before the program was introduced.
The Department of Education will retain the data of the 26 million borrowers who have already provided it with the information required to consider them for debt relief, 16 million of whom have already received approval for relief, so that it can process their relief quickly once we win the case in court, said Jean-Pierre.
Following an increasing number of legal challenges to the program, a federal appeals court temporarily stopped the debt relief program in a case brought by six Republican states.
Two petitions to stop the program have already been denied by the Supreme Court, one from a Wisconsin taxpayer group and the other from an Indiana legal group.
“The President and this Administration are determined to help working and middle-class Americans get back on their feet, while our opponents – backed by extreme Republican special interests — sued to block millions of Americans from getting much-needed relief,” Jean-Pierre said.
“The court has correctly ruled in favor of our motion and deemed the Biden student loan program illegal,” said Elaine Parker, president of the foundation, in a statement.