In the past week, two more lawsuits have been filed against the Biden administration for canceling up to $10,000 in student debt for millions of borrowers.
The Daily Caller writes, the student loan cancellation plan, which applies to individuals earning less than $125,000 annually, faced its first lawsuit on September 27 from the Pacific Legal Foundation, which claimed that the White House illegally bypassed Congress by invoking a law intended to help Iraq War veterans and their families. A complaint advancing the same argument was filed two days later by multiple Republican state attorneys general.
“In addition to being economically unwise and downright unfair, the Biden Administration’s Mass Debt Cancellation is yet another example in a long line of unlawful regulatory actions,” the complaint said. “No statute permits President Biden to unilaterally relieve millions of individuals from their obligation to pay loans they voluntarily assumed.”
According to the attorney generals, the Supreme Court has recently ruled in West Virginia v. EPA that federal agencies cannot exercise highly consequential powers beyond what Congress could reasonably be understood to have granted. In a separate lawsuit, Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R-AZ) invoked the same ruling and claimed the “mass debt forgiveness program is fundamentally unfair, unconstitutional, and unwise.”
Additionally, Biden extended the pause on federal student loan repayment to January 2023 and will allow borrowers with undergraduate loans to cap monthly payments at 5% of their income. Students who paid for college via Pell Grant will receive $20,000 in debt cancellation.
If the policy is renewed every year, eliminating $10,000 of student loans per borrower will cost $298 billion in 2022 and $329 billion by 2031, according to a nonpartisan study from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, 42% of the benefit would go to Americans already earning more than $82,400 a year. According to another estimate, the overall cost will be $400 billion, with an additional $20 billion incurred by the extended repayment pause.
Based on the lawsuit filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation, the student loan cancellation is largely an election ploy. Yet, many Democrats in swing states distanced themselves from the debt cancellation policy, which many Americans believe will worsen inflation.
This all comes after, as we previously reported, that in accordance with Education Department guidance, President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan was abruptly updated last week to exclude borrowers with privately held federal student loans.
Borrowers with federal student loans not held by the Education Department no longer qualify for one-time debt relief by consolidating those loans into Direct Loans.