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Group Sues Biden Administration Over ‘Flagrantly Illegal’ Student Loan Cancelation

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.


A lawsuit has been filed against the administration of President Joe Biden for his plan to cancel student debt.

The lawsuit was filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation on Tuesday for its plan to cancel as much as $10,000 in debt for millions of student borrowers.

“Congress did not authorize the executive branch to unilaterally cancel student debt,” Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Caleb Kruckenberg said. “It’s flagrantly illegal for the executive branch to create a $500 billion program by press release, and without statutory authority or even the basic notice and comment procedure for new regulations.”

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“In August 2022, President Biden announced his plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student loan debt per person for more than 40 million Americans. The Department of Education’s justification relies on an inapplicable, 20-year-old law: The HEROES Act, which was intended as aid to veterans and their families, allows government to modify student loans during times of war or national emergency,” the press release said.

“Whatever the motives of the president for transferring massive amounts of student debt to taxpayers in a rushed, haphazard manner, it certainly seems like an election year ploy. That is one of the predictable effects of the president usurping Congress’ power to make law. Not since President Trump imposed a nationwide eviction moratorium before the 2020 elections has a president abused his power so profoundly,” it said.

“Cancelling student debt is unjust to those who have paid their loans or never took any. It will only lead to more calls for government intervention in education at taxpayers’ expense,” senior attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation Steve Simpson said. “Loan cancellation will make Americans more divided, as those who paid their loans—or never went to college—will have good reason to think that we no longer have a government of, by, and for the people.”

Biden was told by those close to him that he should not cancel student loan debt but he was pushed into it by Vice President Kamala Harris and others, a new report claims.

On May 17, aboard Air Force One, the president was harangued by Senate Majority Leader and New York Sen. Charles Schumer to cancel billions of dollars in student loan debt, The New York Times reported.

During the flight in May, Mr. Schumer persisted, according to an account of the discussion he provided this week.

Over lunch, he appealed to the president’s emotions, describing a young woman who had approached him with tears in her eyes, saying the crushing burden of her loan payments made it difficult to live. The senator also sought to soothe the president’s fear that erasing some debt would be a boon for rich white students, telling him that “the vast majority are poor people and people of color.”

The report also said that “Vice President Kamala Harris was one of the most persistent promoters of canceling student debt.”

“During Valentine’s Day week, Ms. Harris had her staff members draft a memo listing the president’s concerns, along with talking points intended to address them one by one, an administration official said. On his concern that debt cancellation would benefit ‘private elite schools,’ they recommended in the memo that she counter by saying that ‘only 0.3 percent of federal loan borrowers attended Ivy League schools.’  In response to his worry that loans should be forgiven by an act of Congress, the memo urged her to say that similar executive authority was already being used to enact the loan payment pause,” the report said.

Among others who pressured him were Democrat Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Raphael Warnock.

But there were others advising the president against canceling student loan debt.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen worried about such a giveaway when the nation is faced with crippling inflation and top Democrat economists agreed.

And the president’s wife, first lady Jill Biden, a college professor, was also concerned about forgiving the student debt.

But the Harris wing won and the president announced the cancellation of tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt.



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