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The Biden administration is extending the pause on student loan payments until no later than June 30, 2023, as theis held up in court. President Biden announced the extension Tuesday in a video posted to the White House Twitter account.
Student loan repayments were supposed to resume Jan. 1, 2023, for the first time since thebegan. But a federal appeals court has blocked the president's student loan forgiveness program, and the administration has asked the Supreme Court to reinstate their stalled plans. For now, the fate of the program remains unclear, with millions of borrowers in limbo.
The White Housein August that Mr. Biden would be taking executive action to forgive $10,000 in loans for Americans making under $125,000 a year or $250,000 for married couples. Pell grant receipents are eligible for additional $10,000 to be forgiven.
"I'm confident that our student debt relief plan is legal," Mr. Biden tweeted. "But it's on hold because Republican officials want to block it. That's why @SecCardona is extending the payment pause to no later than June 30, 2023, giving the Supreme Court time to hear the case in its current term."
Payments would restart 60 days after the Supreme Court decision or on June 30, whichever comes first. The Supreme Court has not yet said whether they will take the case.
Since the Biden administration announced the plan, it has faced a number of legal challenges, and has beentwo federal courts. The White House has said that nearly 26 million Americans have applied for the program, and 16 million applications have already been approved.
— Kristin Brown contributed to this report
Next has bought the brand of furniture seller Made.com after the business filed for administration on Tuesday.
Made, which employs around 600 people, said it will sell its brand, websites and intellectual property to the clothes retailer.
Administrators for Made from advisory firm PwC said the deal will result in 320 redundancies.
Fictionary co-founder and CEO Kristina Stanley has worked in a wide variety of different jobs, from manager of broadband planning at Nortel to the director of employee, safety, and guest services for an Eastern British Columbia ski resort, to author of mystery novels.
But one of Stanley’s most difficult jobs was figuring out how to edit her own manuscripts while writing The Stone Mountain Mystery Series. As she told BetaKit in an interview, “it’s really, really difficult to edit a book from a story level. You’ve got thousands and thousands of elements that you have to keep track of and make them work together.”
“We’re trying to help the average person who doesn’t have an ‘in’ in the publishing industry get a really good book out there, get an agent, or get a publisher.”
-Kristina Stanley, Fictionary
Initially, Stanley tackled this problem using a combination of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and graphs. But she soon realized that other authors likely faced the exact same issue, and set out to build a better way by combining her tech and writing background.
Today, Stanley’s software startup Fictionary aims to offer an alternative. Amid a wide field of solutions that help writers and editors with specific parts of the process, like spelling, grammar, style, structure, and publishing, Fictionary hones in on perhaps the most important and challenging part: producing a good story.
Fuelled by $1.8 million CAD in seed funding, Fictionary aims to help writers and editors around the world produce quality stories more quickly and affordably. With this capital, the Inverary, Ontario startup, based just north of Kingston, plans to move into non-fiction and start selling to other publishers and agencies to expand its community of users.
The startup’s all-equity round, which closed in September, was co-led by StandUp Ventures and BDC Capital’s Thrive Venture Fund, with support from The51 and a group of angels that includes Women’s Equity Lab general partner Sally Morris. For newly launched Thrive, Fictionary marks the fund’s third investment to date, after investing in Acerta and Private AI.
Stanley founded Fictionary in 2016 alongside her husband, Mathew (COO), who also previously worked at Nortel and has a background in tech, and her brother, Michael Conn, Fictionary’s former CTO, who has since left the company.
Initially, Fictionary focused solely on writers, before expanding to meet demand for a similar offering from editors. Today, Fictionary offers three subscription software products for writers and editors that range in price from $19 to $49 monthly, sells online courses, and provides a community for writers and editors to connect.
Fictionary’s software helps writers visualize their story arc by analyzing key story elements with artificial intelligence (AI) and gauging how their manuscript compares to fundamental storytelling components.
RELATED: With new Thrive platform, BDC commits half a billion dollars to invest in Canadian women-led startups and funds
“We’re trying to help the average person who doesn’t have an ‘in’ in the publishing industry get a really good book out there, get an agent, or get a publisher,” said Stanley.
On the editor side of the equation, the company claims its offering enables editors to provide better, deeper story edits in less time, increasing the quality and profitability of editors’ services.
The writing and editing software space features a ton of players, from Grammarly to Scrivener, Novel Factory, and Canada’s Wattpad. According to Stanley, Fictionary is unique within the sectors in terms of its focus on storytelling elements and its use of AI. “We’re it right now as far as, there’s an automated way to do this, and have software for it,” said Stanley.
“While there are other platforms endeavoring to address this gap in the market, there doesn’t appear to be a single player who is able to look at the writing and editing process in a comprehensive and meaningful way, which puts Fictionary at a sizeable advantage to lead the charge and expand into new markets and segments,” Michelle Scarborough, managing partner of BDC Capital’s Thrive Venture Fund, told BetaKit.
RELATED: StandUp Ventures reveals second fund dedicated to women-led startups with $30 million first close
Fictionary previously secured $100,000 in grant funding from Creative BC and raised $245,000 in pre-seed funding in 2019 from a group of angels that included Shopify co-founder Scott Lake, Stephanie Andrew of Women’s Equity Lab, and FirstEditing founder and CEO JoEllen Taylor.
According to Stanley, following that pre-seed round, Fictionary reached breakeven cash flow and had to decide whether to keep going on its current track or set its sights higher.
Following some discussions with StandUp Ventures, Fictionary decided to embark on a new chapter and raise more venture capital to tackle the opportunity it sees in this space amid the rise of self-publishing. “We have a great product, we’ve got product-market fit, we’ve got a market, so let’s just go for it,” said Stanley.
“The love for the product Fictionary users articulate so regularly is rare, and indicative of the power and impact the tool brings to its customers,” said StandUp Ventures senior associate Lucas Perlman, who is joining Fictionary’s board as part of the round. “The self-publishing world has exploded, and we believe Fictionary is poised to become a de-facto part of the story writing toolkit for writers and editors around the globe.”
RELATED: Wattpad’s new leader is focused on creator value
For her part, Scarborough said the Thrive Venture Fund sees “a sizeable opportunity [for Fictionary] in the fast-growing creator economy space—a market with many dimensions—within writing and editing, screenwriting, non-fiction, and beyond.”
To date, Fictionary has focused entirely on fiction but Stanley said the startup’s roadmap includes moving into non-fiction, where the CEO sees plenty of potential to apply its tech to helping people tell their own life stories. Fictionary also sees an opportunity to help agencies and publishers clear the slush pile of submitted manuscripts.
As it looks to build out its own community of writers and editors, Fictionary follows in the footsteps of Wattpad, which parlayed its vibrant self-publishing community of writers and readers—and the content produced by them—into a $754 million CAD acquisition last year.
After discussions with StandUp, Fictionary decided to embark on a new chapter.
“Wattpad is very inspirational for us,” said Stanley. “They are different in the sense that people write their stories in the community, where we help writers take those stories and turn them into powerful stories readers love. Their community is a great lead-in to Fictionary for writers needing to edit their stories.”
As the startup charts its growth strategy amid an uncertain economic environment, Stanley is confident that Fictionary is well-positioned to grow during this period, noting that people tend to write more when they are stressed. Back when COVID-19 first hit and everyone was cooped up, the CEO said people begin writing more, and demand for Fictionary rose. Heading into what could be a deep downturn, Stanley believes Fictionary is in a good spot given that it offers a tool to help people do their passion without spending a lot of money.
What Perlman finds most exciting is the appreciation Fictionary’s customers have for the startup’s product, noting that writers “pour countless hours into their stories and writing books is an emotional and very personal thing to take on.”
“Fictionary has removed a major hurdle that stopped these creators from bringing their stories into the world,” Perlman told BetaKit. “The impact of that really comes through when you speak to their customers and see feedback from their community.”
Feature image courtesy Fictionary.
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on protecting Social Security and Medicare and lowering prescription drug costs in Hallandale Beach, Florida, on Nov. 1, 2022.
Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
The Biden administration on Tuesday announced that it will extend the payment pause on federal student loans until after June or when it's able to move forward with its debt forgiveness plan.
Federal student loan bills had been scheduled to resume in January.
The administration's move comes in response to a federal appeals court ruling last week that imposed a nationwide injunction on the debt relief plan.
"We're extending the payment pause because it would be deeply unfair to ask borrowers to pay a debt that they wouldn't have to pay, were it not for the baseless lawsuits brought by Republican officials and special interests," Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement.
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The pause will be extended until 60 days after the Biden administration is allowed to implement its student loan forgiveness plan and litigation is resolved, according to a press release by the U.S. Department of Education. If it can't proceed with its policy and the legal challenges are still unfolding by June 30, 2023, student loan payments will restart 60 days after that.
It's the eighth time the Education Department has extended the pandemic-era relief policy.
Federal student loan payments have been on pause since March 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic first hit the U.S. and crippled the economy. Resuming the bills for more than 40 million Americans will be a massive task, and the Biden administration had hoped to ease the transition by forgiving a large share of student debt first.
Yet not long after President Joe Biden announced his sweeping plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student debt for millions of Americans, a number of conservative groups and Republican-backed states attacked the policy in the courts. Two of these lawsuits have been successful in at least temporarily halting the relief, and the Education Department closed its loan cancellation application portal this month.
A top official at the Education Department recently said student loan default rates could dramatically spike if its loan forgiveness plan is thwarted, "due to the ongoing confusion about what they owe."
Biden tweeted about the extension Tuesday.
"I'm confident that our student debt relief plan is legal. But it's on hold because Republican officials want to block it," Biden tweeted.
"That's why @SecCardona is extending the payment pause to no later than June 30, 2023, giving the Supreme Court time to hear the case in its current term."
This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.
Deborah Romero, the head of New Mexico’s Department of Finance and Administration, will retire in December, marking the end of a career in state government that has spanned nearly 50 years.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office announced Romero's upcoming retirement on Tuesday.
Romero has worked for nine different gubernatorial administrations and participated in over 40 legislative sessions. As cabinet secretary, she played a key role in the drafting of state budgets and oversaw the distribution of $1.8 billion in federal funds that included millions of dollars for emergency rental assistance amid the coronavirus pandemic.
NEW MEXICO MOTHER USED CHILDREN TO 'MULE' FENTANYL THAT KILLED THEIR FATHER, FEDS SAY
Romero also created the state’s system for tracking capital outlay funds that are used for local projects.
"There is no question that her decades of work on matters of state finance have left an indelible and undeniably positive mark," Lujan Grisham said in a statement.
NM CONTINUES TO PAY FOR UNUSED OFFICE BUILDINGS THAT COULD COST UP TO $18M A YEAR
Romero said public service is a family tradition and that the last few years of her career have been the most exciting and rewarding.
"I am blessed to be part of an administration that has accomplished so much during a worldwide pandemic, extraordinary fires and flooding, and the challenges of rebuilding a stable and functioning government," she said. "I began as a student intern, and now, to finish as a cabinet secretary is a dream come true."
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The governor's office said a national search will be conducted to find Romero's successor.
Other OTC - Other OTC Delayed Price. Currency in USD
As of 09:53AM EST. Market open.
|Dec 09, 2022||0.0197||0.0197||0.0197||0.0197||0.0197||1,000|
|Dec 08, 2022||0.0209||0.0209||0.0197||0.0197||0.0197||2,400|
|Dec 07, 2022||0.0185||0.0202||0.0185||0.0202||0.0202||20,100|
|Dec 06, 2022||0.0209||0.0209||0.0197||0.0197||0.0197||11,500|
|Dec 05, 2022||0.0193||0.0209||0.0193||0.0209||0.0209||34,985|
|Dec 02, 2022||0.0180||0.0180||0.0137||0.0180||0.0180||135,330|
|Dec 01, 2022||0.0200||0.0200||0.0200||0.0200||0.0200||10,000|
|Nov 30, 2022||0.0205||0.0205||0.0205||0.0205||0.0205||-|
|Nov 29, 2022||0.0205||0.0205||0.0205||0.0205||0.0205||-|
|Nov 28, 2022||0.0205||0.0205||0.0205||0.0205||0.0205||100|
|Nov 25, 2022||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||-|
|Nov 23, 2022||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||100|
|Nov 22, 2022||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||-|
|Nov 21, 2022||0.0235||0.0235||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||36,257|
|Nov 18, 2022||0.0235||0.0235||0.0235||0.0235||0.0235||-|
|Nov 17, 2022||0.0235||0.0235||0.0235||0.0235||0.0235||-|
|Nov 16, 2022||0.0235||0.0235||0.0235||0.0235||0.0235||-|
|Nov 15, 2022||0.0235||0.0235||0.0235||0.0235||0.0235||-|
|Nov 14, 2022||0.0235||0.0235||0.0235||0.0235||0.0235||-|
|Nov 11, 2022||0.0235||0.0235||0.0235||0.0235||0.0235||-|
|Nov 10, 2022||0.0235||0.0235||0.0235||0.0235||0.0235||1,800|
|Nov 09, 2022||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||6,000|
|Nov 08, 2022||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||-|
|Nov 07, 2022||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||750|
|Nov 04, 2022||0.0223||0.0223||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||270|
|Nov 03, 2022||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||-|
|Nov 02, 2022||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||-|
|Nov 01, 2022||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||-|
|Oct 31, 2022||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||-|
|Oct 28, 2022||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||-|
|Oct 27, 2022||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||16,000|
|Oct 26, 2022||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||-|
|Oct 25, 2022||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||-|
|Oct 24, 2022||0.0224||0.0240||0.0224||0.0240||0.0240||200|
|Oct 21, 2022||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||-|
|Oct 20, 2022||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||-|
|Oct 19, 2022||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||-|
|Oct 18, 2022||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||-|
|Oct 17, 2022||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||-|
|Oct 14, 2022||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||1,850|
|Oct 13, 2022||0.0221||0.0221||0.0221||0.0221||0.0221||-|
|Oct 12, 2022||0.0221||0.0221||0.0221||0.0221||0.0221||-|
|Oct 11, 2022||0.0221||0.0221||0.0221||0.0221||0.0221||-|
|Oct 10, 2022||0.0221||0.0221||0.0221||0.0221||0.0221||-|
|Oct 07, 2022||0.0221||0.0221||0.0221||0.0221||0.0221||-|
|Oct 06, 2022||0.0221||0.0221||0.0221||0.0221||0.0221||-|
|Oct 05, 2022||0.0240||0.0240||0.0221||0.0221||0.0221||5,100|
|Oct 04, 2022||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||2,000|
|Oct 03, 2022||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||-|
|Sep 30, 2022||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||-|
|Sep 29, 2022||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||-|
|Sep 28, 2022||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||-|
|Sep 27, 2022||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||-|
|Sep 26, 2022||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||-|
|Sep 23, 2022||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||-|
|Sep 22, 2022||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||7,900|
|Sep 21, 2022||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||-|
|Sep 20, 2022||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||-|
|Sep 19, 2022||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||-|
|Sep 16, 2022||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||-|
|Sep 15, 2022||0.0221||0.0221||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||51,400|
|Sep 14, 2022||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||10,000|
|Sep 13, 2022||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||-|
|Sep 12, 2022||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||-|
|Sep 09, 2022||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||-|
|Sep 08, 2022||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||-|
|Sep 07, 2022||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||-|
|Sep 06, 2022||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||-|
|Sep 02, 2022||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||-|
|Sep 01, 2022||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||-|
|Aug 31, 2022||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||-|
|Aug 30, 2022||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||-|
|Aug 29, 2022||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||-|
|Aug 26, 2022||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||0.0230||1,385|
|Aug 25, 2022||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||-|
|Aug 24, 2022||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||0.0220||500|
|Aug 23, 2022||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||-|
|Aug 22, 2022||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||-|
|Aug 19, 2022||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||1,063|
|Aug 18, 2022||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||-|
|Aug 17, 2022||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||-|
|Aug 16, 2022||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||-|
|Aug 15, 2022||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||0.0210||374|
|Aug 12, 2022||0.0200||0.0200||0.0200||0.0200||0.0200||-|
|Aug 11, 2022||0.0200||0.0200||0.0200||0.0200||0.0200||-|
|Aug 10, 2022||0.0340||0.0340||0.0200||0.0200||0.0200||3,213|
|Aug 09, 2022||0.0290||0.0290||0.0290||0.0290||0.0290||-|
|Aug 08, 2022||0.0250||0.0300||0.0250||0.0290||0.0290||59,000|
|Aug 05, 2022||0.0347||0.0347||0.0347||0.0347||0.0347||-|
|Aug 04, 2022||0.0347||0.0347||0.0347||0.0347||0.0347||1,000|
|Aug 03, 2022||0.0290||0.0290||0.0290||0.0290||0.0290||-|
|Aug 02, 2022||0.0350||0.0350||0.0290||0.0290||0.0290||600|
|Aug 01, 2022||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||-|
|Jul 29, 2022||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||-|
|Jul 28, 2022||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||0.0240||115|
|Jul 27, 2022||0.0280||0.0280||0.0280||0.0280||0.0280||-|
|Jul 26, 2022||0.0280||0.0280||0.0280||0.0280||0.0280||-|
|Jul 25, 2022||0.0280||0.0280||0.0280||0.0280||0.0280||-|
|Jul 22, 2022||0.0280||0.0280||0.0250||0.0280||0.0280||61,550|
|Jul 21, 2022||0.0280||0.0360||0.0280||0.0360||0.0360||18,060|
|*Close price adjusted for splits.**Adjusted close price adjusted for splits and dividend and/or capital gain distributions.|
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The Biden administration on Tuesday extended the pandemic-era federal student loan payment pause and interest accrual until no later than June 2023 while the administration faces legal challenges to its debt forgiveness plan.
“I&#8217;m confident that our student debt relief plan is legal. But it’s on hold because Republican officials want to block it,” President Biden&nbsp;said&nbsp;in a statement. “That&#8217;s why&nbsp;@SecCardona&nbsp;is extending the payment pause to no later than June 30, 2023, giving the Supreme Court time to hear the case in its current term.”
The pause was set to expire on Dec. 31 after Biden extended it in August around the same time he announced the student loan forgiveness program. At the time, the White House called that extension &#8220;one final time.&#8221;
The latest extension into next year will deliver the Supreme Court time to decide whether it will rule on whether the program can continue.
The payment pause will end “no later than June 30, 2023,” Biden said, because payments will resume 60 days after the Education Department is permitted to implement the program or the litigation is resolved, which should come before the end of June, when the Supreme Court term typically concludes.&nbsp;
Loan payments were first put on hold in March 2020 under former President Trump at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to deliver individuals relief from paying their student loan bills. The freeze has since been extended six times.
Biden’s long-awaited forgiveness program has stopped accepting applications after it was blocked by several court challenges.
The&nbsp;Biden&nbsp;administration on Friday urged the Supreme Court to clear one of the legal obstacles blocking its student debt relief program, as part of the administration’s broader legal effort to have the policy reinstated.
The administration is currently fending off two separate rulings issued over the past two weeks that have effectively halted Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, which would deliver federal borrowers making less than $125,000 a year up to $10,000 in debt relief.&nbsp;&nbsp;
That move came after a unanimous three-judge panel on the 8th Circuit halted Biden’s massive debt relief plan, which had already been blocked nationwide by a separate court ruling.
In an earlier legal development, a Trump-appointed federal judge in Texas invalidated the program, saying the presidential action unlawfully encroached on Congress’s power.&nbsp;
The administration has vowed to fight the challenges.&nbsp;
“We’re not going to back down though on our fight to deliver families breathing room,” Biden said in his announcement. “That’s why the Department of Justice is asking the Supreme Court of the United States to rule on the case. But it isn’t fair to ask tens of millions of borrowers who are eligible to relief to resume their student debt payments while the courts consider the lawsuits.”
More than 23 million people applied for student loan relief before the applications closed.
Student loan advocates called the extension announced on Tuesday a necessary step, but pushed the administration to fight back against the legal challenges.
“The least the Biden administration could do is not collect on a debt they promised they would cancel,” Braxton Brewington, spokesperson for the Debt Collective, said in a statement on Tuesday. “This pause extension is necessary, but also the bare minimum. What 45 million borrowers truly need is a Biden administration that won’t allow fringe lawsuits and right-wing courts to undermine economic relief that’s already been approved.”
Natalia Abrams, president of the Student Debt Crisis Center, applauded Biden for the move.&nbsp;
“Too many borrowers, parents, and students have yet to recover from the financial harm caused by the pandemic and the possibility of a winter surge in COVID-19 cases is proof that this crisis is not over. Student debt cancellation is essential to helping borrowers recover from the pandemic, but it remains stuck in the courts,” she said in a statement.
Updated at 4:05 p.m.
A second federal appeals court has rejected a Biden administration bid to put on hold a ruling blocking the President’s student debt relief policy.
The 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday night that it would not pause a ruling from a Texas judge striking down the policy while an appeal of the ruling played out.
The move sets the stage for the US Justice Department to take the case to the US Supreme Court, which is already considering a separate request from the Biden administration that it reverse an order from the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals blocking the loan forgiveness program.
The 5th Circuit denial was handed down by a panel made up of a George W. Bush appointee, a Barack Obama appointee and a Donald Trump appointee.
They did not explain their reasoning for rejecting the administration’s request, but the panel ordered the full appeal to be considered on an expedited basis.
College alum tells CNN: The only way to open the door was to take on student loan debt
Nearly two weeks ago, the Biden administration began notifying people who are approved for federal student loan relief, even as the future of that relief remains in limbo since lower courts blocked the program nationwide. The emails from the US Department of Education to borrowers acknowledged exact legal challenges have kept the administration from discharging the debt.
Biden’s program would offer up to $20,000 of debt relief to millions of qualified borrowers, but it has been met with legal challenges.
The November 10 Texas ruling upheld by the appeals court Wednesday declared Biden’s program illegal. That prompted the Education Department to halt accepting loan relief applications.
About 26 million people had applied for student loan relief prior to the exact court decisions with 16 million of those applications being approved, according to the Biden administration.
Federal student loan payments that had been paused during the Covid-19 pandemic were set to resume in January. But the Biden administration again extended the pause period on November 22 as legal battles continue.
The payment pause will last until 60 days after the litigation is resolved. If the program has not been implemented and the litigation has not been resolved by June 30, payments will resume 60 days after that, according to the Department of Education.
“I’m completely confident my plan is legal,” said President Joe Biden in a video posted on Twitter last week, referencing his student loan forgiveness program.
“But it isn’t fair to ask tens of millions of borrowers eligible for relief to resume their student debt payments while the courts consider the lawsuit,” he added.
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The Biden administration has argued that Congress granted the secretary of education the power to broadly discharge student loan debt in a 2003 law known as the HEROES Act, which was passed in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The government’s lawyers argue that the law allows the secretary to discharge debt in an event of a national emergency, including the Covid-19 pandemic.
But the Texas federal judge found that the law does not provide the executive branch clear congressional authorization to create the student loan forgiveness program.
“The program is thus an unconstitutional exercise of Congress’s legislative power and must be vacated,” wrote Judge Mark Pittman, who was nominated by then-President Trump.
“In this country, we are not ruled by an all-powerful executive with a pen and a phone,” he continued.
The Texas lawsuit was filed by a conservative group, the Job Creators Network Foundation, in October on behalf of two borrowers who did not qualify for debt relief.
One plaintiff did not qualify for the student loan forgiveness program because her loans are not held by the federal government and the other plaintiff is only eligible for $10,000 in debt relief because he did not receive a Pell grant.
They argued that they could not voice their disagreement with the program’s rules because the administration did not put it through a formal notice-and-comment rule making process under the Administrative Procedure Act.
“This ruling protects the rule of law which requires all Americans to have their voices heard by their federal government,” said Elaine Parker, president of Job Creators Network Foundation, in a statement following the ruling on November 10.
The advocacy group was founded by Bernie Marcus, a major Trump donor and former Home Depot CEO.
If Biden’s program is allowed to move forward, individual borrowers who earned less than $125,000 in either 2020 or 2021 and married couples or heads of households who made less than $250,000 annually in those years could see up to $10,000 of their federal student loan debt forgiven.
If a qualifying borrower also received a federal Pell grant while enrolled in college, the individual is eligible for up to $20,000 of debt forgiveness.
There are a variety of federal student loans and not all are eligible for relief. Federal Direct Loans, including subsidized loans, unsubsidized loans, parent PLUS loans and graduate PLUS loans, are eligible.
But federal student loans that are guaranteed by the government but held by private lenders are not eligible unless the borrower applied to consolidate those loans into a Direct Loan before September 29.
This story has been updated with additional background information.
Former President Donald Trump's administration reportedly blocked various government websites from being made on syllabus ranging from homelessness to human trafficking.
Records of ".gov" website rejections and approvals by the Trump administration and President Joe Biden's administration were obtained by Insider through a Freedom of Information Act request.
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Websites rejected by the Trump administration included humantrafficking.gov, reportfraud.gov, findshelters.gov, and checkthebox.gov, among others.
The document in the report shows that the Biden administration approves most websites proposed by federal agencies. Between January 2021 and September 2022, Biden's Office of Management and Budget approved 85 of the 89 requests, and the four were not voluntarily withdrawn. Conversely, Trump's OMB only approved 60 of the 104 requests from July 2018 to January 2021.
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The approval rate of government websites serves as another contrast between Trump and Biden as the two may be set for a rematch in the 2024 election after Trump announced his 2024 White House bid last week.