As the Biden administration prepares to phase out the national emergency measures put in place to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, it has extended the student loan relief program that would cancel hundreds of billions of dollars in borrower debt indefinitely.
This action is being challenged by a coalition of six GOP-led states and 17 others, along with more than 170 Republican members of Congress, citing an executive branch overreach without any clear congressional mandate.
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to intervene and hear oral arguments in two expedited legal challenges. The program, if fully implemented, could benefit around 40 million Americans, wiping out balances for almost 40% of federal student loan borrowers.
Republican states argue that the administration is using the pandemic as a pretext for a power grab and to score political points. They say the crisis of students struggling to pay off their loans predated the pandemic and that the administration is bypassing Congress.
On the other hand, the Biden administration sees the program as part of a broader strategy to make student loan repayment more affordable and manageable than ever before.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said that the administration cannot return to the same broken system that was in place before the pandemic when millions were left owing more than they initially borrowed.
The Biden administration argues that its debt relief efforts fall within the plain text of the HEROES Act and is a reasonable, targeted solution to confront the risk of default, based on the lingering financial hardship caused by the pandemic.
The court will decide if the GOP-led states can prove actual harm by the challenged policies.
From a Fox News angle, it is clear that the Biden administration’s decision to keep the student loan relief program in place indefinitely is an example of the president’s power grab.
The Republicans are fighting for the rule of law, and the fact that this program was not authorized by Congress means that the administration’s actions are unconstitutional. It is a fundamental tenet of the American system of government that the executive cannot simply bypass Congress to achieve its policy goals.
Moreover, the student loan relief program has been criticized as being ineffective in addressing the root cause of the problem. Colleges and universities, which keep raising tuition fees while sitting on a $700 billion mountain of endowments, should be held accountable for their role in creating this crisis.
Instead, taxpayers are left on the hook for their misdeeds. As Elaine Parker, president of the Job Creators Network Foundation, said, “Biden’s bailout does nothing to actually solve [the problem].”
From a Fox News perspective, it is clear that the Republicans are standing up for the American people. The student loan relief program is an example of the Biden administration’s tendency to prioritize political expediency over sound policy.
The program is an affront to the rule of law and the principle of separation of powers. As such, it is imperative that the Supreme Court intervenes to block this executive overreach and protect the rights of American citizens.