President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program, which canceled hundreds of billions of dollars in student loan debt for Americans, was struck down by a federal judge in Texas on Tuesday.
Trump-appointed Judge Mark Pittman ruled in a 26-page ruling (pdf) that the program constitutes “an unconstitutional exercise of the legislative power of Congress and must be struck down.”
This decision comes after a lawsuit (pdf) filed by the Job Creators Network Foundation on behalf of two borrowers, Myra Brown and Alexander Taylor. These two people claim to have been “damaged by this arbitrary intervention of the executive”.
The lawsuit, filed last month, accused the administration of violating the notice and comment procedures of the Administrative Procedure Act. The administration should have sought public opinion or comment on the program before launching it.
The U.S. Department of Education and Miguel Cardona, in his official capacity as Secretary of Education, are named as defendants.
The White House has argued that the student loan forgiveness program is legal under the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act of 2003, which gives the Department of Education the power to forgive student loan debt. so important to so many people due to Covid19.
In his ruling Wednesday, Judge Pittman said the HEROES Act did not authorize the $400 billion student loan forgiveness program.
None “clear congressional approval for the program”
“It is not for this court to determine whether the program constitutes good public policy. Nevertheless, no one can plausibly deny that this is one of the largest delegations of legislative power to the executive branch, or one of the most significant exercise of legislative power without congressional authorization in US history.Judge Pittman wrote in Wednesday’s ruling.
“In this country, we are not run by an all-powerful leader with a pen and a phone. On the contrary, we are governed by a constitution which provides for three separate and independent branches of government… The Court is not blind to the current political division of our country. But it is fundamental to the survival of our republic that the separation of powers as described in our constitution is preserved. And after analyzing the HEROES Act, the Court finds that it does not clearly authorize Congress to follow the program proposed by the Secretary.”Justice Pittman added.
Joe Biden announced in August that he plans to forgive up to $10,000 in student loan debt for people making less than $125,000 a year or married couples making less than $250,000 a year. Pell Grant recipients were required to obtain additional debt forgiveness of $10,000.
However, this program was scaled back on September 29, significantly reducing eligibility.
The Biden administration has touted the program as a way to provide relief to Americans struggling under the weight of trillions of dollars in student loan debt.
However, Republican lawmakers and other experts fear it will increase the national debt and further strain the economy as inflation continues in the country.
‘Biden’s student loan program is illegal’
The Department of Education estimates that Joe Biden’s debt relief package will cost $379 billion, or about $30 billion a year over the next 10 years, although these estimates are based on “highly uncertain assumptions about future economic conditions and participation rates.”
On the other hand, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated the cost at more than $400 billion over the next 30 years.
As a result, a number of lawsuits were filed against the program and it was temporarily blocked by the Court of Appeal on 8e Circuit of the United States, based in Saint-Louis, on October 21. She is considering a request from six Republican states to block the program.
Elaine Parker, president of the Job Creators Network Foundation, welcomed Judge Pittman’s decision Thursday.
“The court correctly ruled in favor of our motion and found President Biden’s student loan program illegal. The judge rejected the Biden administration’s program, calling it ‘one of the most significant exercises of legislative power without congressional authority in the history of the United States.’… The ruling protects the rule of law, that requires all Americans to be heard by their federal government”said Ms. Park in a statement.
She added that the student loan bailout failed “the root cause of unaffordable tuition: greedy, fat universities that raise tuition far beyond inflation year after year while sitting on $700 billion in endowments… We hope the court’s decision today will lay the groundwork for real solutions to the student loan crisis” .
Epoch Times contacted the White House for comment.
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