Lawmakers and student debt advocacy groups are pushing the Biden administration to develop backup plans in case the U.S. Supreme Court rules against the administration’s one-time student loan forgiveness plan, Bloomberg reported.
The report was based on two sources familiar with the informal discussions. One possible option is for the administration to change the legal justification for the plan. The administration is currently relying on the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003 to forgive up to $20,000 of federal student loans for eligible Americans. Some legal experts have argued that it can instead forgive loans under the Higher Education Act of 1965.
Lawsuits challenging the plan have argued that the administration doesn’t have the authority under the HEROES Act to forgive student loans. So far, one federal judge has agreed with that argument, and the administration is sticking by its use of the HEROES Act in legal briefs filed with the Supreme Court.
White House and Education Department officials told Bloomberg that they are confident in the current legal strategy and that alternative plans aren’t under consideration.
The administration will defend the debt-relief plan before the Supreme Court next month. Oral arguments in two lawsuits will be held Feb. 28.