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Republicans say they will sue Biden administration over student loan plan

Six Republican-led states are suing the Biden administration to stop plans to forgive tens of millions of Americans from student loan debt, accusing them of trampling on executive power.

In at least the second legal challenge this week to sweeping proposals presented by President Joe Biden in late August, the Biden administration said it would cancel up to $20,000 in education debt for a huge number of borrowers. rice field. The announcement became an immediate political fodder after months of internal deliberations and pressure from liberal activists, fueling conservative debates over legality ahead of November’s midterm elections.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Missouri on Thursday, the Republican state said Biden’s cancellation plan, as required by a 2003 federal law, “due to the effects of the pandemic on federal student loan borrowers.” It is not coordinated to deal with it.” The administration uses it as legal justification. They said Biden declared the Covid-19 pandemic over in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” earlier this month, but used the still-ongoing health emergency to offer massive debt relief. He points out that it is justified.

“It is plainly unfair to impose the debt of those who choose to go to college on hardworking Americans,” Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, who leads the group, said in an interview.

She added: And President Biden does not have the authority to override it. ”

Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Carolina joined Arkansas in filing lawsuits. Iowa has a Democratic Attorney General, but Republican Governor Kim Reynolds signed it on behalf of the state. The state claims Missouri’s loan servicers are facing “many ongoing financial losses” because of Biden’s decision to cancel the loan. argues that Biden’s forgiveness plan will ultimately disrupt state coffers.

Biden’s Forgiveness Program will cancel $10,000 of student loan debt for people with incomes below $125,000 or households with incomes below $250,000. Pell grant recipients who typically demonstrate more financial need are also forgiven of her $10,000 debt.

The administration also said it would once again extend the current moratorium on federal student loan repayments, which had been put on hold near the beginning of the pandemic more than two years ago, through the end of the year.

Conservative lawyers, Republican lawmakers, and business-minded groups allege that Biden has exceeded his powers by taking such drastic action without congressional consent, and the administration is seeking legislation against its plans. The threat of legal challenge was faced almost immediately.

Democratic lawmakers battling tough reelection contests have also distanced themselves from student-loan plans, as Republican officials called it an unfair government giveaway to the relatively wealthy at the expense of those without higher education. was placed.

The Republican attorney general alleges in the lawsuit that the forgiveness program violates the Administrative Procedure Act.

In an interview, Rutledge said, “The president has no authority to hold positions in Congress. ‘These actions must be taken by Congress, and he cannot override them.'”

To justify the legitimacy of the plan, the Biden administration is relying on a post-September deal. On November 11, 2001, a law aimed at helping members of the military said the Justice Department would allow Biden to reduce or eliminate student loan debt during a national emergency. . But Republicans say the administration misunderstood the law because the pandemic no longer qualifies as a national emergency.

Another lawsuit against Biden’s student loan program was filed in federal court in Indiana this week.Attorney Frank Garrison said canceling his current debt would result in a tax liability from Indiana. There is

Borrowers who don’t want debt relief can opt out, so the White House dismissed the lawsuit as frivolous.

Republicans are also eyeing the Biden plan’s price tag and its impact on the nation’s budget deficit. . The White House countered that the CBO’s estimate that the plan’s first year alone would cost $21 billion was lower than the administration originally thought.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Republicans say they will sue Biden administration over student loan plan

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