Eighteen States Sue Over Student Debt Cancellation

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A seven-state coalition filed a lawsuit on Tuesday to block President Joe Biden’s bid to cancel student debt less than two weeks after a group of 11 states filed a similar suit.

The most recent coalition alleged Biden was overstepping his authority and would cost taxpayers nearly $500 billion after Biden announced on April 8 that his administration would be canceling the student debt of more than 30 million American borrowers. According to a statement from the White House, this would bring the total amount canceled to $146 billion since Biden took office in 2021.

The attorneys general from seven states filed a lawsuit against the administration, claiming, “Just last year, the Supreme Court struck down an attempt by the President to force teachers, truckers, and farmers to pay for the student loan debt of other Americans — to the enormous tune of $430 billion. In striking down that attempt, the Court declared that the President cannot ‘unilaterally alter large sections of the American economy.’ Undeterred, the President is at it again.’”

The earlier lawsuit, spearheaded by Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach and joined by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, claimed that Biden’s debt cancellation program remains the same as the plan struck down by the Supreme Court, but is now being shepherded along under the “guise of modifying the terms of loan repayment.”

“Last time Defendants tried this the Supreme Court said that this action was illegal. Nothing since then has changed, other than introducing more legal errors into this Rule’s underlying analysis,” the earlier suit read.

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey is leading the coalition in the more recent suit, alongside Attorneys General James Percival of Florida, Christopher Carr of Georgia, Tim Griffen of Arkansas, Drew Wrigley of North Dakota, Dave Yost of Ohio, and Gentner Drummond of Oklahoma.

“This latest attempt to sidestep the Constitution is only the most recent instance in a long but troubling pattern of the President relying on innocuous language from decades-old statutes to impose drastic, costly policy changes on the American people without their consent,” reads the petition filed by the states.

According to the lawsuit, an estimate from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania estimates the total cost of the attempted mass cancellation at $475 billion over a 10-year period, which would be $45 billion more than Biden’s previous proposal that was struck down by the Supreme Court last year.

Bailey said in a press release that Biden was “attempting to saddle working Missourians with a half trillion dollars in college debt.”

“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,” Bailey added.

Other elected officials have spoken out about the Biden administration’s new student debt cancellation plan, presenting concerns that the cancellation was meant solely to help sway voters into voting for Biden in the upcoming election.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said during a video appearance on Fox Business that Biden’s decision to move forward with this plan was “shameless” and “utterly unsurprising.”

“This is not complicated. Joe Biden is engaged in a vote-buying scheme. Now he’s assuming young people with student loans are naive and gullible because he’s going to promise them this, but he knows it is blatantly lawless,” Cruz claimed.

Despite the lawsuits filed by 18 different state attorneys general and claims made by elected officials, a spokesperson for the Department of Education said Biden will continue to seek ways to help those struggling with student debt.

“The Biden-Harris Administration won’t stop fighting to provide support and relief to borrowers across the country — no matter how many times Republican elected officials try to stop us,” the spokesperson said, per Bloomberg Law.

The Dallas Express reached out to the White House about the lawsuits but did not receive a response as of publication.

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