Six Republican-led states sued the Biden administration Thursday in the latest bid to upend the president’s plan to wipe out student loan debt for millions of Americans. 

The lawsuit, the second filed challenging the write-off this week, claims that the White House is overstepping its legal bounds by canceling the debt and notes President Biden’s recent comment to CBS News’ “60 Minutes” that the coronavirus pandemic is over. 

Thursday’s challenge, filed in federal court in Missouri, said Biden’s forgiveness plan is “not remotely tailored to address the effects of the pandemic on federal student loan borrowers,” as required by the 2003 federal law that the administration is using as legal justification. 

T​he attorneys general of Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Carolina cite Biden’s comments on the news show and point out that despite his claims that the pandemic has ended, the president is using the national health emergency to justify the cancellation of student debt.

“It’s patently unfair to saddle hard-working Americans with the loan debt of those who chose to go to college,” Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge told the Associated Press.

Student loan debt activists rally outside the White House a day after President Biden announced a plan that would cancel $10,000 in student loan debt.
Student loan debt activists rally outside the White House a day after President Biden announced a plan that would cancel $10,000 in student loan debt.
Craig Hudson/The Washington Post via Getty Im

“The Department of Education is required, under the law, to collect the balance due on loans. And President Biden does not have the authority to override that,” she added.

The states also contend that Biden’s decision to cancel the loans is forcing Missouri’s loan servicer to face a “number of ongoing financial harms,” and that the plan will deprive their coffers of revenue.

“Republican officials from these six states are standing with special interests, and fighting to stop relief for borrowers buried under mountains of debt,” White House spokesman Abdullah Hasan said in a Thursday statement.

“The president and his administration are lawfully giving working and middle class families breathing room as they recover from the pandemic and prepare to resume loan payments in January,” Hassan added.

Biden announced in August that the Education Department will cancel up to $10,000 in student loan debt for borrowers making less than $125,000 per year or households with less than $250,000 in income. 

It would write off an additional $10,000 in debt for Pell Grant recipients.

The forgiveness plan is expected to wipe the slate clean for roughly 20 million Americans, with a total of 43 million being affected in some way. 

Leslie Rutledge
Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas attorney general, speaks during a news conference outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC.
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republicans slammed the program, characterizing it as a giveaway to financially comfortable people at the expense of Americans who opted to not attend college or pursue other career avenues. 

The Congressional Budget Office on Monday estimated that the loan relief plan will cost American taxpayers up to $400 billion. ​

T​he attorneys general also said Biden’s cancellation of debt violates the Administrative Procedure Act, which spells out how federal agencies should craft regulations to ensure executive branch policies are well-reasoned.

“The president does not have the authority to put himself in the place of Congress,” Rutledge said. “These actions must be taken by Congress and he can’t override that.”

With Post wires



Source link

Author

Comments are closed.