Biden’s Student-Loan Relief Plan Gets Expanded Review From Supreme Court

The US Supreme Court expanded a planned showdown over President Joe Biden’s student-loan relief plan, saying it will hear arguments from two borrowers who contend they are being unfairly excluded from the full scope of the program.

The court was already set to hear arguments early next year from six Republican-led states that say the president lacked authority to issue the sweeping plan. The new challenge also contends the Education Department took an improper procedural shortcut by not letting the public comment on the plan before finalizing it.

The plan, which could cost an estimated $400 billion, would forgive as much as $20,000 in federal loans for certain borrowers making less than $125,000 per year or $250,000 for households. About 26 million people requested forgiveness before the Education Department stopped accepting applications, and the administration says more than 40 million Americans would be eligible.

Lower courts have blocked the plan, and the Supreme Court indicated earlier this month it will keep the program on hold until it rules. The justices said they will hear arguments in late February or early March. Student loan payment obligations will remain paused until the case is resolved, the White House has said.