January 12, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Albuquerque, NM – New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez joined a coalition of 22 other state attorneys general in support of the Biden Administration’s targeted cancellation of the student loan debt program before the U.S. Supreme Court.
In an amicus brief filed (see attached) in the cases Biden v. Nebraska and Department of Education v. Brown, the attorneys general argued that U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona has the authority under the HEROES Act to provide limited debt cancellation to prevent student loan borrowers from experiencing grave financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.
Last year, the Secretary announced plans to grant $10,000 in debt relief for borrowers under certain income thresholds, and $20,000 in debt relief to borrowers who met those income thresholds and also received a Pell Grant in college. The debt cancellation plan was challenged in September and November 2022. The federal government is now asking the Supreme Court to lift injunctions of the plan granted by the lower courts that blocked the Secretary from granting this debt cancellation relief.
“The goal of this limited student debt cancellation program is to give some financial help and breathing room to families and vulnerable borrowers who are recovering from the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic,” said Attorney General Raúl Torrez. “This program would benefit so many New Mexican students and their families and is exactly the kind of relief the federal government should be providing.”
The brief emphasizes the ongoing financial harm that the pandemic has caused student borrowers, and the evidence that a spike in pandemic-related defaults is likely to occur upon lifting of the current student loan repayment pause.
Joining AG Torrez in this brief, which was led by Massachusetts’ Acting AG Bessie Dewar, are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawai‘i, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.
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