(The Center Square) – A non-profit legal group has filed a court case Tuesday against the US Department of Education to block its decision to forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt for certain borrowers.
“Congress has not authorized the executive branch to unilaterally write off student debt,” said Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Caleb Kruckenberg. “It is patently illegal for the executive to create a $500 billion program by press release, and without legal authorization or even the basic notice and comment procedure for new regulations.”
The lawsuit, the first of what is expected to be many, comes a day after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a official quote for President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, costing more than $400 billion.
In August, Biden announced that the Department of Education would provide up to $20,000 in debt forgiveness to Pell Grant recipients with loans held by the Department of Education and up to $10,000 in forgiveness. of debt to non-Pell Grant recipients. Eligible borrowers must have a personal income of less than $125,000 or $250,000 for married couples. Additionally, Biden said the pause in federal student loan repayments would be extended one final time through Dec. 31, 2022. White House said borrowers should expect to resume payment in January 2023. This extended pause would cost taxpayers about $20 billion, according to the CBO.
“The cancellation of student debt is unfair to those who have repaid their loan or who have never taken one. This will only lead to more calls for government intervention in education at taxpayer expense,” said Steve Simpson, senior counsel at the Pacific Legal Foundation. “Loan cancellation will make Americans more divided, as those who have paid off their loans – or who never went to college – will have good reason to believe that we no longer have a government of the people, by and for the people.”
The Pacific Legal Foundation requested a temporary restraining order to prevent the loan cancellation from taking effect.