Missouri AG announces lawsuit against Biden's new plan to 'cancel' student loan debt

 April 10, 2024

Despite his initial attempt being soundly rejected as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, President Joe Biden is pressing forward with another plan to "cancel," at taxpayers' expense, student loan debt for tens of millions of borrowers, with that new plan conveniently timed to launch just ahead of the 2024 elections.

Yet, similar to how Biden's first student loan debt cancellation plan was challenged in court, a lawsuit has already been filed in opposition to the president's latest effort by Republican Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, according to Fox Business.

Bailey's lawsuit against Biden's so-called "SAVE" plan has been joined by the attorneys general of Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, North Dakota, Ohio, and Oklahoma, while Fox Business reported last month that a separate but related lawsuit was filed by the Kansas attorney general, who was joined by his counterparts in Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah."

Biden's newest plan to cancel student loan debts

On Monday, President Biden delivered a campaign speech in Wisconsin to announce the upcoming rollout of his new plan to cancel massive amounts of student loan debt and even seemed to brag about his defiant efforts to sidestep the Supreme Court's prior ruling and the concerted political opposition from Republicans.

"Tens of millions of people’s debt was literally about to get canceled, but then some of my Republican friends and elected officials and special interests sued us, and the Supreme Court blocked us," Biden said of the failed first attempt. "Well, that didn’t stop us. No, I mean it sincerely. We continue to find alternative paths to reduce student debt payments -- that are not challengeable."

The new SAVE plan, first revealed in February, is estimated to impact more than 25 million student loan borrowers who owe more than they originally borrowed due to accrued interest, according to The Hill, and most enrollees in the plan would likely see up to $20,000 in owed interest wiped away, if not all accrued interest regardless of the total amount for low-income borrowers.

The outlet acknowledged that the new plan, which the administration hopes to fully implement this fall ahead of the election, will likely "energize" young voters and "boost" the turnout of the key Democratic constituency at a critical time when Biden is seeking a second term and Democrats aim to seize full control of Congress.

Missourians shouldn't be forced to pay for debts incurred by others

In a statement on Tuesday, Missouri Attorney General Bailey said, "With the stroke of his pen, Joe Biden is attempting to saddle working Missourians with a half trillion dollars in college debt. The United States Constitution makes clear that the President lacks the authority to unilaterally 'cancel' student loan debt for millions of Americans without express permission from Congress."

"The President does not get to thwart the Constitution when it suits his political agenda. I’m filing suit to halt his brazen attempt to curry favor with some citizens by forcing others to shoulder their debts. The Constitution will continue to mean something as long as I’m Attorney General," he added.

AG Bailey also appeared on Fox Business on Tuesday and told host Stuart Varney, "So the last plan that Biden put forward would have cost Missouri taxpayers $44 million, more than a half trillion dollars nationally. And we anticipate this plan is going to cost Missouri exactly the same amount, if not more. We know nationally it costs more."

It is estimated that Biden's SAVE plan would cost taxpayers approximately $475 billion, more than the estimated $430 billion price tag on his rejected first plan, and Bailey asserted, "We can't let Joe Biden saddle working Missouri families with Ivy League debt. That's why we've got to keep pushing this suit forward. We're excited to fight to protect from this illegal redistribution of wealth."

It is up to Congress, and not Biden, to authorize any "redistribution of wealth"

AG Bailey explained to Varney, "The Constitution gives the power of the purse to the legislative branch, not the executive branch. And unless Congress explicitly authorizes this redistribution of wealth, it's illegal."

"President Biden keeps pointing to these vague references in statutes, saying that somehow he has authority to redistribute this wealth, but the court has found that Congress never explicitly authorized this," he added. "And when you have a program on this order of magnitude, this enormous political, social, and economic impact that Congress has to be explicit. So it's a rule of law issue. It's a constitutional issue. And that's why we're fighting so hard to put a stop to it."

Fox Business noted that President Biden also announced his intention to somehow make community college educations "tuition free" in a second term, but Bailey vowed to file another lawsuit to block that plan as well, and said, "If [Biden] does so illegally without any congressional authorization, we absolutely will. I mean, that's the whole point of this. It's a separation of powers issue."

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