Supreme Court seems skeptical of Biden’s student loan forgiveness powers

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By CASEY HARPER | THE CENTER SQUARE

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in a legal challenge to President Joe Biden’s plan to cancel hundreds of billions of dollars in student loan debt.

Biden announced in August of last year that his administration would “forgive” $10,000 in federal student loan debt for those making less than $125,000 per year or $250,000 for married couples. Debtors who borrowed money before July 1 can qualify. 

For Pell Grant recipients, the debt reduction would total $20,000. The U.S. Congressional Budget Office estimated that the plan would cost taxpayers roughly $400 billion.

The Biden administration argued that the administration has the legal authority to cancel the debt. Justices poked back at that claim, asking whether Congress’ HEROES ACT, which allowed the federal government to delay debt collection because of national emergencies, really grants power to cancel that debt.

Justices point out that the law does not explicitly allow for the waiving of student debt in this way, but the Biden administration argued that forgiving the student debt was still in line with the purpose of the bill.

Justices also raised concerns that using a questionable legal argument to allow such a large release of federal funds may go beyond the power of the legislation. The Biden administration, though, argued that the legal challengers did not have a real injury because of the policy that would give them legal standing to challenge the plan in the first place.

The Biden administration has paused student loan repayment until the Supreme Court rules on this case, expected by June and no later than July.

“Today, my Administration argues our case for student debt relief in the Supreme Court,” Biden said in a statement. “This relief is critical to over 40 million Americans as they recover from the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. We’re confident it’s legal. And we’re fighting for it in court.”

A poll from August 2022 found Americans are concerned that forgiving the student loan debt will hike inflation.

A CNBC/Momentive survey found that 59% of those surveyed said they are concerned forgiving the debt will make inflation worse.

“Republicans are especially concerned: 81% of Republicans say student loan forgiveness will make inflation worse, nearly double the number of Democrats who say the same (41%),” Momentive said.

25 COMMENTS

  1. Stealing money from me so other people don’t have to try as hard as I did has frustrated me for decades. The continual stealing of my hard work is counter to everything we were taught as Americans when we were young.

  2. Biden cannot do this because he has no legitimate power. Even if he did, Congress deals with all things involving money. If people would read the Declaration of Independence more we would have less ignorance floating about like this.

    • Take it up with the govt. It was legislated to keep small business afloat during the scam democrats. From your response I take it you were in favor of more small businesses to struggle to survive or completely fail. Myself, I’m in favor of making sure my neighbors are able to be working and productive members of the community. Exact reason I will pay a couple bucks more for items I can purchase locally, versus being a cheap azz supporting a quite liberal Amazon. I don’t trip over dollars to pick up pennies, maybe you do.

  3. @Denali forgot about PPP Loans, apparently. The US Small Business Administration sba.gov explicitly calls these loans, then outlines eligibility around “forgiveness”

  4. Why does Hunter Biden get a pass for everything? Why is none or any of it disqualifying for his father to be president of these United States at all?

  5. It took Congress to pass these student loan bills.
    So how exactly the president alone thinks that he has the power to
    legally and Constitutionally erase these debts all on his lonesome is mind boggling to me.

  6. I wonder if Sotomayor finished paying off her own loan? Or maybe Alzheimer’s Joe already forgave her old loan in exchange for her leaking the decision on Roe v. Wade reversal.

    • The unlawful, pre-release of the Supreme Court’s decision last year was another crime by the Democrats, intended for one purpose:
      to get angry mobs of pro-abortion activists and lesbians fired-up before the mid-term elections.
      It kept the Senate in Democrat hands, and the House barely squeaked by with Republicans.
      Another sneak attack on our democracy.
      Of course, 2020 was full of election fraud by Democrats. That’s the ONLY way they can win.

  7. Student debt is NOT a responsibility that the taxpayers should incur under any circumstance! Student borrowed it, student pays it back! Simple equation!

  8. If they do allow this then there will be some angry people out there that paid their own way. Just think all these students are going to be the future leaders and they can’t even do simple elementary math. Just who I want to trust.

  9. 400 billion is just a percentage of the total student debt. What is the full amount? How did it get this high? Time for online college. Why am I on the hook so some one can be a Art History major? Assistant managers at Wal Mart have MBAs. There is a lady that has a used clothing store in Anchorage that has a masters degree.

  10. Besides being idiotic and illegal this debt amnesty does absolutely nothing to address the issue causing the problem. The educational racket that turns people into lifetime debtors while providing a demonstrably inferior product should be reformed long before we give a nationwide amnesty for poor decision making forced upon young people by those in power demanding far too much for the product they are selling.

    • Correct.
      If we treated student loans like they were small business loans, the person borrowing would have to demonstrate there is a market for their degree before they got it. Sorry, but there is just not a lot of jobs for Philosophy majors. I do not care if it is your passion, I am not paying you for it.
      .
      I have yet to hear about a person with a degree in a STEM field, accounting, medical, or other that cannot pay off their student loan. Now, granted, complain about how much it is, yep, have heard that. It is only the people with dual masters degrees in hyphenated-American Studies and Comparative Religions that are having problems paying off their student loan debt.
      .
      Get rid of the worthless degrees, and get rid of the student loan “crisis” at the same time.

  11. I’m in favor of the schools participating in any reduction to the amount owed. Taxpayers and the government should not be a party to any adjustment to loan agreements.

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