The Biden administration is retaliating against Republicans who are considering filing a lawsuit to stop President Joe Biden from making the historic decision to cancel the college debt of millions of Americans.
Abdullah Hasan, a spokesman for the White House, charged that the GOP had unfair policies that targeted the middle class.
“Let’s be clear about what they would be trying to do here: The same folks who voted for a $2 trillion tax giveaway for the rich and had hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own small business loan debt forgiven would be trying to keep millions of working middle-class Americans in mountains of debt,” hasan stated to CNBC.
It is not surprising that there may be a right-wing fight to Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, which would cancel up to $20,000 in debt for millions of debtors. Republicans were attempting to thwart a plan to eliminate the debt even before the president made his declaration.
Right now, Republican attorneys general from states like Arizona, Missouri, and Texas, as well as Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and those associated with the Heritage Foundation, are debating how to try to thwart the president’s proposal.
The tens of millions of Americans who were only last week celebrating their debt relief will undoubtedly become apprehensive as a result. A protracted court battle might potentially put the future of the debts of an estimated 43 million individuals in jeopardy.
The matter might end up before the Supreme Court.
It may be difficult to establish “standing” for a lawsuit
Cruz acknowledged the difficulties in launching a lawsuit in a recent interview, but no action has yet been filed. He stated on “The Liz Wheeler Show” that “as a general matter, just being a taxpayer is not sufficient for the courts to conclude you have standing to challenge an expenditure of funds.”
“You have to find someone who was harmed by the expenditure of funds,” Cruz said.
Finding a suitable plaintiff will really be the first difficulty for those wishing to file a lawsuit opposing Biden’s plan, according to Harvard law expert Laurence Tribe. It would probably need someone who can prove that they suffer “personal injury” as a result of student loan forgiveness, and that may not be simple.
“Such injury is needed to establish what courts call ‘standing,’” Tribe said. “No individual or business or state is demonstrably injured the way private lenders would have been if, for instance, their loans to students had been canceled.”
The U.S. Department of Justice’s 25-page letter arguing that debt cancellation is “appropriate” under the Heroes Act of 2003, which gives the president extensive authority to change student loan programs, was made public by the White House along with the announcement. Shortly after the terrorist events of September 11, 2001, a law was established that gave the executive branch the authority to erase student loans in times of national emergency. In March 2020, the Covid-19 epidemic was deemed a national emergency by the Trump government.
According to higher education expert Mark Kantrowitz, those seeking to stop the forgiveness would likely claim that the Heroes Act does not provide the president the authority to forgive student debt in the broad sense that he is attempting to do.
What a court case entails for borrowers
According to the U.S. Department of Education, the application for loan cancellation will be accessible by or before October. Kantrowitz advised borrowers not to alter their current plans until then.
“Borrowers should apply for forgiveness and be cautiously optimistic,” he said.
However, he cautioned that it would be advisable to avoid making any significant adjustments to one’s finances in the hopes that student loan balances may decrease in the near future.
“Even if a legal challenge doesn’t succeed in blocking the president’s plan, it will probably cause delays in implementing the loan forgiveness,” during his appearance on Friday’s CNBC Twitter Spaces, Kantrowitz remarked.