Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer went extreme in a screed against Republicans who oppose President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program.
Joined at a press conference by progressive Democrat Reps. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and Mondaire Jones of New York the leader tore into his Republican colleagues.
“Those damn Republicans,” the senator said. “They are bellyaching, you know, when anyone helps regular people. When they give tax cuts to the rich, they say they’re helping the middle class. When we help the middle class, they say we’re helping the rich.”
“They only want to help the rich,” he said. “The reason they don’t this is all of their rich friends … might have to pay a little more in taxes. Disgraceful, disgraceful, disgraceful.”
After Schumer’s speech, Arizona GOP Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a lawsuit against the president’s student loan forgiveness program. It came after other states, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Carolina, filed their own lawsuits, The Daily Wire reported.
“The president’s action is contrary to several recent United States Supreme Court decisions striking down federal agencies’ assertion of power never granted to them by Congress,” the attorney general said. “Despite being told by members of congress he cannot pursue such an action, Biden is relying on the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act (HEROES Act) and the COVID-19 pandemic. The HEROES Act was a response to the September 11th attacks to relieve active-duty personnel from financial hardship while defending our nation.”
“The act also includes individuals who reside in disaster areas affected by a national emergency. The president attempts to stretch the HEROES Act to assert authority over all borrowers in the country, citing the COVID-19 pandemic as a national emergency and the entire United States as a disaster area,” he said.
Arkansas Republican Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, who is heading the lawsuits by the other states, had a similar argument.
“It’s patently unfair to saddle hard-working Americans with the loan debt of those who chose to go to college,” she said. “The Department of Education is required, under the law, to collect the balance due on loans. And President Biden does not have the authority to override that.”
And these states are not the only ones taking issues, and filing lawsuits, against the president’s student loan forgiveness program.
This week another lawsuit was filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation for the administration’s plan to cancel as much as $10,000 in debt for millions of student borrowers.
“Congress did not authorize the executive branch to unilaterally cancel student debt,” Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Caleb Kruckenberg said. “It’s flagrantly illegal for the executive branch to create a $500 billion program by press release, and without statutory authority or even the basic notice and comment procedure for new regulations.”
“In August 2022, President Biden announced his plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student loan debt per person for more than 40 million Americans. The Department of Education’s justification relies on an inapplicable, 20-year-old law: The HEROES Act, which was intended as aid to veterans and their families, allows government to modify student loans during times of war or national emergency,” the press release said.
“Whatever the motives of the president for transferring massive amounts of student debt to taxpayers in a rushed, haphazard manner, it certainly seems like an election year ploy. That is one of the predictable effects of the president usurping Congress’ power to make law. Not since President Trump imposed a nationwide eviction moratorium before the 2020 elections has a president abused his power so profoundly,” it said.
“Cancelling student debt is unjust to those who have paid their loans or never took any. It will only lead to more calls for government intervention in education at taxpayers’ expense,” senior attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation Steve Simpson said. “Loan cancellation will make Americans more divided, as those who paid their loans—or never went to college—will have good reason to think that we no longer have a government of, by, and for the people.”