President Joe Biden is expected to speak Thursday on student debt relief, less than a week before the midterm elections.
The event is scheduled to begin at 3:45 PM ET. Watch Biden’s remarks in the player above.
A federal appeals court last month issued an administrative stay temporarily blocking Biden’s plan to cancel billions of dollars in federal student loans, throwing the program into limbo just days after people began applying for loan forgiveness.
The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay while it considers a petition by six Republican-led states to block the program. The suspension ordered the Biden administration not to act on the program while it considers an appeal.
It is not yet clear what this decision means for the 22 million borrowers who have already applied for help. The Biden administration has pledged not to pay off the debt until Oct. 23, battling legal challenges, but was most likely expected to begin wiping out the debt in mid-November.
White House spokeswoman Karin Jean-Pierre urged borrowers to continue applying for aid, saying the temporary court order does not prevent applications from being submitted or applications being reviewed.
“We will continue full steam ahead in our preparations in accordance with this order,” she said in a statement. “And the administration will continue to fight Republican officials who are suing to block our efforts to help working families.”
The crucial question now is whether the problem will be resolved by Jan. 1, when federal student loan payments are expected to resume after being suspended during the pandemic. Millions of Americans were expected to completely cancel their debt under Biden’s plan, but now face uncertainty about whether they will have to start making payments in January.