The Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) is suing the Department of Education over President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive student loan debt.
On Tuesday, the foundation issued a statement announcing the lawsuit.
“Congress did not authorize the executive branch to unilaterally cancel student debt,” Caleb Kruckenberg, an attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation, said.
He added, “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.”
The statement notes the Department of Education justifies the cancellation using the HEROES Act intended as “aid to veterans and their families, allows government to modify student loans during times of war or national emergency.”
Steve Simpson, senior attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation, argued 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.”
He suggested the 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.”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded to the lawsuit during a press briefing.
“Opponents of the Biden, Harris administration’s student loan plans are trying to stop it because it will provide much needed relief for working families, anyone who doesn’t want to get that debt relief can opt-out,” Jean-Pierre said.
In case you missed it:
'Anyone who does not want … that debt relief can choose to opt out.'— NowThis (@nowthisnews) September 27, 2022
The White House pushed back on a lawsuit filed in Indiana against Pres. Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan — the plaintiff claims the policy will force him to pay state taxes on the forgiven amount. pic.twitter.com/jMwjubeW9j
A Congressional Budget Office report released Monday found Biden’s plan could cost $400 billion.
Marc Goldwein, senior vice president and senior policy director at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, told The Washington Post Biden “announced possibly the most expensive executive action in history without a score, and we’re now seeing just how expensive this policy is going to be.”
The Post noted more than 40 million Americans could benefit from some relief under the plan.
Administration estimates show 60% of borrowers are likely to have their debt reduced by $20,000.
White House spokesman Abdullah Hasan said last month the plan “provides breathing room to tens of millions of working families.”
He claims it “gives people who have been struggling with student debt that shot they want at starting a business, buying that first home, or just having a slightly easier time paying the monthly bills.”