Newswire: Department of Justice begins Supreme Court defense of student loan forgiveness

Howard University Graduation

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent


In a filing sent to the U.S. Supreme Court this week, the Department of Justice agreed with President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive student loans.

In 2022, the president promised to forgive all outstanding student loan debt for millions of borrowers, up to a maximum of $20,000 each.

Republicans are leading the way in suing the federal government to stop the plan.
The Department of Justice, however, said last week in a court filing that Biden’s actions are perfectly legal.

Lawyers from the Department of Justice said that Congress gave the president “clear permission” to go ahead with his plan.

A federal judge in Texas invalidated a program in October that would have helped 40 million people with their student loan debt.

Two people who didn’t qualify for aid under Biden’s scheme sued the initiative on behalf of the conservative Job Creators Network Foundation. At the time, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the government strongly disagreed.

“The President and this Administration are determined to help working and middle-class Americans get back on their feet, while our opponents, backed by extremist Republican special interests, have sued to prohibit millions of Americans from getting much-needed relief,” Jean-Pierre remarked.

The HEROES Act of 2003, according to the White House, gives the Secretary of Education the authority to forgive student debt.

“The program is consequently an illegal exercise of Congress’s legislative power and must be vacated,” wrote Judge Mark Pittman, a Donald Trump nominee. “In this country, we are not dominated by an all-powerful executive with a pen and a phone,” he continued.

Federal student loan debt of up to $10,000 will be forgiven for borrowers with yearly incomes of less than $125,000 in 2020 or 2021, and up to $200,000 for married couples or heads of households.

Borrowers who also got a federal Pell grant might have up to $20,000 in their loans discharged. Six states with Republican governors sued to stop Biden’s plan to forgive debts. This made the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals put a hold on the plan.

One plaintiff in Texas lost her right to have her federal student loans forgiven because the federal government did not service her loans. Since the other plaintiff did not obtain a Pell award, the amount of debt relief to which he is entitled is just $10,000.

They said they had no way of voicing their disapproval of the program’s regulations because the administration had not followed the Administrative Procedure Act’s notice and comment rule-making procedure.

Elaine Parker, president of the Job Creators Network Foundation, stated in a statement, “This verdict supports the rule of law which requires all Americans to have their voices heard by their federal government.”

According to CNN’s reporting, Bernie Marcus, the former CEO of Home Depot, and a key Trump donor, established the Job Creators Network Foundation.
Two challenges challenging Biden’s debt relief plan will be argued before the Supreme Court in February.

In February, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in two cases.
In its petition, the Justice Department said, “The lower courts’ decisions have wrongly taken away the Secretary’s legislative authority to give targeted student loan debt relief to borrowers affected by national emergencies.”
 

Newswire: Texas judge stops President Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Program

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

A federal judge in Texas bent to the will of a few and struck down President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program that offered relief to at least 40 million borrowers.
The conservative group, Job Creators Network Foundation, filed the lawsuit against the plan on behalf who two individuals who didn’t qualify for relief under Biden’s program. There remains another legal challenge to the plan.
“We strongly disagree with the District Court’s ruling on our student debt relief program, and the Department of Justice has filed an appeal,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.
“The President and this Administration are determined to help working, and middle-class Americans get back on their feet, while our opponents – backed by extreme Republican special interests – sued to block millions of Americans from getting much-needed relief,” she stated.
White House officials maintain that the Secretary of Education received power from Congress to discharge student loan debt under the 2003 HEROES Act. “The program is thus an unconstitutional exercise of Congress’s legislative power and must be vacated,” wrote Judge Mark Pittman, a Donald Trump nominee.
“In this country, we are not ruled by an all-powerful executive with a pen and a phone,” he continued.
Under the president’s plan, borrowers who earned less than $125,000 in either 2020 or 2021 and married couples or heads of households who made less than $250,000 annually in those years are eligible to have up to $10,000 of their federal student loan debt forgiven.
If a qualifying borrower also received a federal Pell grant, the individual would receive as much as $20,000 of debt forgiveness.
In October, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals placed an administrative hold on Biden’s forgiveness program based on a suit filed by six GOP-led states.
In the most recent case in Texas, one plaintiff did not qualify for the student loan forgiveness program because the federal government does not hold her loans.
The other plaintiff is only eligible for $10,000 in debt relief because he did not receive a Pell grant.
They argued that they could not voice their disagreement with the program’s rules because the administration did not put it through a formal notice-and-comment rule-making process under the Administrative Procedure Act.
“This ruling protects the rule of law which requires all Americans to have their voices heard by their federal government,” said Elaine Parker, president of the Job Creators Network Foundation, in a statement.
CNN reported that major Trump donor and former Home Depot CEO Bernie Marcus founded Job Creators Network Foundation.