Joe Biden is begging the Supreme Court to approve his controversial student loan forgiveness scheme, which is currently on hold after two separate courts struck it down.
The Biden administration argued in a court brief Friday that it was acting within its “plain” authority by attempting to unilaterally wipe away billions of dollars in debt, ABC News reported.
Biden begs SCOTUS
Biden’s Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar asked the Supreme Court to overturn a nationwide injunction from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing the relief plan “falls squarely within the plain text” of the administration’s statutory authority under the HEROES Act.
The administration claims that the law gives them broad authority to cancel loans during an emergency, with that emergency being COVID, in this case.
“Indeed, the entire purpose of the HEROES Act is to authorize the Secretary to grant student-loan-related relief to at-risk borrowers because of a national emergency — precisely what the Secretary did here,” Prelogar wrote.
Biden’s program has been blocked by the 8th Circuit and Texas judge Mark Pittman, a Trump appointee, who blasted the administration’s assertions of power as draconian.
“In this country, we are not ruled by an all-powerful executive with a pen and a phone,” Pittman wrote.
Costly patronage scheme
The pretext for Biden’s power grab has also been belied by Biden’s own ambivalent comments on COVID: in September, he said that the so-called emergency was “over.”
The student loan program has polarized voters, with many seeing it as an unfair handout to college graduates. Biden’s program would forgive up to $10,000 for most borrowers and $20,000 for recipients of Pell Grants. The giveaway is expected to cost taxpayer hundreds of billions of dollars.
Some have speculated that Biden did not expect the policy to withstand legal challenges and that he dangled the promise of loan relief to buy votes from young people in the midterm elections.
Although the program hasn’t been unblocked, the Biden administration has begun sending notices to applicants who received approval from the administration.
“Unfortunately, a number of lawsuits have been filed challenging the program, which have blocked our ability to discharge your debt at present,” the administration wrote.