NAACP slams federal court’s decision to block student debt relief program

NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson speaks to members of the media outside the West Wing after meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House in Washington, Friday, Sept. 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The NAACP slammed a federal appeals court’s decision to temporarily block the Biden administration’s student debt relief program on Friday, saying that those who are opposing the plan are being hypocritical. 

NAACP President Derrick Johnson said those who are blaming the administration for high levels of inflation are the same ones trying to stop policies that will provide relief to those most affected. 

“When we bail out Billion dollar corporations, it’s never an issue. But when it comes to lifting people who need the help most, including Pell Grant recipients—51% of which go to students whose families earn less than $20,000 a year—somehow it becomes an issue,” Johnson said. 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit put the administration’s plan on hold for now while a legal challenge from six GOP-led states plays out. A federal district judge had dismissed the case on Thursday after ruling that the states did not have standing to sue. 

The administration’s policy would allow borrowers who earn less than $125,000 per year to have $10,000 in federal student loans forgiven. Those who received Pell Grants would be able to have up to $20,000 forgiven. 

Johnson said next month’s midterm elections are critical. 

“Vote for candidates who will actually make a positive impact, not those who continually target poor, middle class and marginalized communities,” he said. 

The White House vowed to fight Republican efforts to stop the plan from taking effect. Biden said earlier on Friday that almost 22 million people have applied for forgiveness so far.

Tags 2022 midterm elections Biden Derrick Johnson Derrick Johnson NAACP Pell Grants Student loan forgiveness
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