(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden said that his administration would prevail in lawsuits challenging his student debt relief plan and predicted that applicants would start getting checks within two weeks.
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“We’re going to win that case,” Biden said in an interview with NewsNation, a cable outlet. “I think in the next two weeks you’re going to see those checks going out.”
The president’s anticipated timing coincides closely with midterm congressional elections on Nov 8. Democrats are counting on the debt relief program to boost turnout among young voters and people of color in the election, in which polls suggest Biden’s party will lose control of at least one chamber of Congress.
A federal appeals court temporarily blocked the White House’s plan to forgive as much as $20,000 in debt per borrower last week, siding with six Republican-led states that have challenged the plan. The decision prevents the administration from dispersing relief while the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis weighs an injunction request.
The case was dismissed by a federal district court judge, but revived on appeal.
The ruling does not prohibit borrowers from applying for relief through the Department of Education. More than 22 million Americans had already applied for the program, the president said last week.
Under the plan, the government would cancel at least $10,000 in loans for Americans making less than $125,000 or households making $250,000 annually. For students who received Pell grants, which assist students with financial need, relief bumps up to $20,000.
(Updates with additional background beginning in 3rd paragraph)
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