OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Biden Administration is no longer accepting applications for student loan forgiveness after a second federal court shut down the program. It could affect many Oklahomans.

The court documents that were just issued to block the student debt relief program show Federal Judge, Mark Pittman, an appointee of former President Trump in Texas ruled in favor of two borrowers. He claims the program did not follow proper rule-making processes, and was therefore, unlawful.  

This blocked President Biden’s plan to provide millions of borrowers with up to $20,000 a piece in federal student loan forgiveness.  

The program announced in August called for forgiving up to $10,000 in student loan debt for borrowers making less than $125,000 per year, or $250,000 for married couples.  

Borrowers who received Pell Grants to benefit lower-income college students would have up to $20,000 of their debt cancelled.  

According to The White House back in September, a state-by-state breakdown of how many borrowers in each state were expected to receive student loan forgiveness shows around 454,300 Oklahoman’s were eligible borrowers. The estimated number of eligible Pell borrowers in Oklahoma was around 321,600. 

In Judge Pittman’s ruling he called the plan, an “unconstitutional exercise of congress’s legislative power,” while adding, “in this country, we’re not ruled by an all-powerful executive with a pen.” 

The U.S. Justice Department promptly moved to appeal the ruling.  

In response to the block, the Education Department wrote on its federal student aid website stating, “Courts have issued orders blocking our student debt relief program. As a result, at this time, we are not accepting applications. We are seeking to overturn those orders.”   

The Education Department also says that it would hold on to the applications for those who have already applied. 

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement that the administration strongly disagreed with the decision, writing, “the president and this administration are determined to help working and middle-class American’s get back on their feet, while our opponents – backed by extreme republican special interests – sued to block millions of American’s from getting much-needed relief.”  

The non-partisan congressional budget office in September calculated that debt forgiveness would eliminate about $430 billion of the $1.6 trillion in outstanding student debt, and that over 40 million people were eligible to benefit. 

The Judge’s ruling came after the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily stopped the program while it considers whether to impose a permanent ban.  

That case was brought by six Republican-led states.