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President Biden sued over student loan cancellation

Sep 30, 2022

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A series of new lawsuits have been filed against President Biden’s planned student loan cancellation. The Attorneys General of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina and Arkansas filed suit in the United States District Court in Missouri. 

The suit argues the president’s effort to unilaterally cancel $10,000 to $20,000 in debt for borrowers making less than $125,000 a year violated federal law and skirted congressional authority.

The Biden administration said the president has the authority under the 2003 Heroes Act which allows for relief to areas affected by a national emergency, in this case the Covid-19 pandemic. But the lawsuit argues that’s not the case.

The lawsuit stated, “It is inconceivable, when it passed the HEROES Act, that Congress thought it was authorizing anything like the Administration’s across-the-board debt cancellation, which will result in around half a trillion dollars or more in losses to the federal treasury.” 

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a separate lawsuit with a very similar argument. Brnovich and others are focusing on an opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) that stated forgiveness under the Heroes Act must be “structured to put loan recipients back into the financial position they would be in were it not for the national emergency.” But Brnovich contends several federal loan borrowers have not suffered in relation to their loans because payments and interest have been suspended since the pandemic began. 

The OLC opinion also stated the relief must be limited only to the harm that has a relation to the borrower’s federal loans, “no matter how much financial harm a borrower may have suffered because of a national emergency.”

“This mass debt forgiveness program is fundamentally unfair, unconstitutional, and unwise,” Attorney General Brnovich said in a statement. “The question Americans need to be asking is why college costs so much in the first place.”

The Education Department changed who is eligible for relief as the lawsuits were being announced. The department said borrowers with loans from private entities would no longer qualify.

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A series of new lawsuits have been filed against President Biden’s planned student loan cancellation.

Six state attorneys general are suing, stating the President’s effort to unilaterally cancel 10 to 20 thousand dollars in debt for borrowers making less than $125 thousand a year violated federal law and skirted Congressional authority.

The Biden administration says the President has the authority under the 2003 Heroes Act which allows for relief to areas affected by a national emergency. In this case the Covid Pandemic. 

But the lawsuit argues that’s not the case. It states quote: “It is inconceivable, when it passed the HEROES Act, that Congress thought it was authorizing anything like the Administration’s across-the-board debt cancellation, which will result in around half a trillion dollars or more in losses to the federal treasury.”

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a separate lawsuit with a very similar argument. Brnovich and others are focusing on an opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel that states forgiveness must be “structured to put loan recipients back into the financial position they would be in were it not for the national   emergency”. But Brnovich says several federal loan borrowers have not suffered in relation to their loans. Because payments and interest have been suspended since the pandemic began. 

The Education Department changed who is eligible for relief as the lawsuits were being announced. The department said borrowers with loans from private entities would no longer qualify. Straight from DC, I’m Ray Bogan. 


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