Conservative advocacy group sued to block Biden’s student-loan relief plan

A conservative advocacy group has filed a new lawsuit to block the Biden administration’s efforts to forgive student loan debt for millions of Americans, marking the latest legal challenge to the program.

The lawsuit, filed Monday by the Job Creators Network Foundation, argues that the Biden administration violated federal procedures by failing to seek public input on the program. The lawsuit comes as the Biden administration is expected to open its application For debt relief this month

It is one of a handful of lawsuits that have been filed in recent weeks by conservative business groups, lawyers and Republican lawmakers as the Biden administration tries to advance its plan to cancel billions in debt ahead of November’s midterm elections. does. Meanwhile, a federal judge is expected to rules On a separate legal challenge to Mr. Biden’s student loan scheme from six GOP-led states until 12 October.

Ellen Parker, president of the Job Creators Network Foundation, dismissed the program as executive overreach and complained that it did nothing to address the root cause of rising debt: “the outrageous increase in college tuition that leads to inflation every year.” removes it.”

“This bailout is going to affect everyone in this country because of the sheer size of the program,” she said. “And everyone should get an opportunity to express their views to the government.”

She added: “These universities must be held accountable for this student loan crisis.”

The Congressional Budget Office estimates the program will cost taxpayers $400 billion over the next three decades. yet another assessment The cost is a whopping $519 billion over a decade, according to the Penn Wharton budget model, a group of economists and data scientists at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Job Creators Network Foundation has previously moved the courts to attempt to block the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on businesses. It also sued Major League Baseball in 2021 for moving the All-Star Game out of Atlanta over objections to changes to Georgia’s voting laws. That lawsuit, which cited damages to local businesses, was later dropped.

The new lawsuit is just one of a growing number of legal challenges trying to block a motion to repeal President Joe Biden in late August. up to $20,000 in debt for some borrowers.

Moneywatch: States could tax forgiven student loans under President Biden’s plan


ongoing litigation

Six Republican-led states filed suit late last month, accusing the Biden administration of overstepping its executive powers, as did the Pacific Legal Foundation, a Sacramento, California, legal advocacy group. His lawsuit, filed in federal court in Indiana, calls the plan an illegal redundancy that would increase the state tax burden for some Americans who have their debts forgiven.

Meanwhile, a federal judge in Wisconsin last week dismissed a lawsuit from a local taxpayer group, the Brown County Taxpayers Association, that sought to block the program, ruling that the group did not stand to bring a lawsuit. . The group had argued that Biden’s order bypassed Congress’s power over illegal spending and said the plan was discriminatory because it sought to provide special help to borrowers of color.

The latest lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas, against the US Department of Education and its secretary, Miguel Cardona, raises the issue of how the plan was developed. It alleges that the Biden administration violated the notice and comment procedures of the Administrative Procedure Act. It also challenges the administration’s legal justification for the programme.

The suit covers two plaintiffs: one who doesn’t qualify for loan forgiveness because the plan doesn’t cover commercially held loans that aren’t in default, and one who didn’t receive a Pell grant and therefore less under the plan. The loan is entitled for forgiveness.

“Behind closed doors, the department announced a new loan forgiveness program that will impact millions of Americans and cost hundreds of billions of dollars,” the lawsuit reads. “Instead of providing notice and soliciting comment from the public, the department secretly ascribed important details of the program and with a view to securing loan waivers in time for November’s election.”

questions about fairness

It also alleges that the department “made a number of arbitrary decisions about the program, including whether individuals would receive loan forgiveness, how much of their debt would be forgiven, and what type of loans would be eligible for the program.”

“The outcome of this arbitrariness is predictable: some will benefit well, some will be shortchanged, and others will be abandoned altogether,” it reads.

The case was assigned to US District Judge Reed O’Connor, who in 2018 specifically ruled that the Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court overturned that decision last year. O’Connor, former President George W. A Bush appointee has also ruled against other policies adopted by the Democratic administration. Last month, they ruled that an ACA provision that requires HIV prevention drug coverage violates a Texas employer’s religious beliefs.

Former President Donald Trump’s appointee has a 90% chance of going to O’Connor or Judge Mark Pittman, according to the court’s 2020 order in civil lawsuits filed in federal court in Fort Worth.

“Siding With Special Interests”

White House spokesman Abdullah Hassan responded with a statement defending the loan waiver program.

“While opponents of our plan are on the side of special interests and doing everything they can to keep millions of middle-class Americans in debt, the president and his administration are trying to legally give middle-class families some breathing room. Fighting as they recover from the pandemic. And prepare to resume loan payments in January,” he said in a statement.

The Biden Loan Forgiveness Program will cancel $10,000 in student loan debt for families earning less than $125,000 per year or less than $250,000. Pell grant recipients, who typically demonstrate greater financial need, will be eligible for an additional $10,000.

The Biden administration used terrorist attacks as a legal justification for the program, an act passed after September 11, 2001. The law gives administration “broad powers” to reduce or eliminate student loans in times of national emergency, the Justice Department said in an August legal opinion. The administration declared the COVID-19 pandemic as its emergency.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the program will cost taxpayers $400 billion over the next three decades.

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