State AGs Sue to Halt Cancellation of Student Loan Debt

Oct 14, 2022Congressional Legislation, Litigation, News

Last month, Attorneys General in several states filed a complaint against President Biden, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, and the U.S. Department of Education seeking to block the implementation of the Biden’s Administration’s student loan relief plan. Led by the Republican Attorney General of Arkansas, Leslie Rutledge, they accused the Biden Administration of overstepping its authority in providing up to $20,000 per person in student loan debt forgiveness.

“President Biden’s unlawful political play puts the self-wrought college-loan debt on the backs of millions of hardworking Americans who are struggling to pay their utility bills and home loans in the midst of Biden’s inflation,” Rutledge said in a statement. “President Biden does not have the power to arbitrarily erase the college debt of adults who chose to take out those loans.”

The AGs said that the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act of 2003 does not allow the Biden Administration to cancel federal student debt, and that it requires “individualized determinations of economic hardship,” according to Ballard Spahr.

The complaint alleges that the HEROES Act was created to give the Secretary of Education waiver authority to respond to national emergencies. They also argued that the policy change would hurt private companies in their states that service federal student loans, saying it could make it harder for states’ residents to receive loans for college.

The loan relief plan has also drawn criticism from liberals who argued that it does not provide enough relief, but others said it would likely cancel debt for students who are wealthy enough to pay it back. The states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Carolina also joined the lawsuit.

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