Six Republican-led states have sued the administration of President Joe Biden in an effort to stop his plan to forgive millions of Americans’ student loan debt, accusing him of overstepping his authority.
It is at least the second legal objection this week to Biden’s sweeping proposal in late August to write off up to $20,000 in student debt for a huge number of people. The announcement, after months of internal deliberations and pressure from liberal activists, immediately became the center of political debate ahead of November’s midterm elections while fueling arguments from Conservatives about its legality.
In the lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in Missouri, the Republican states say Biden’s debt cancellation plan is “not remotely designed to deal with the effects of the pandemic on student loan recipients, as required by the government.” the 2003 federal law that the government is using as legal justification.”
They point out that Biden, in an interview this month with CBS’s “60 Minutes” television show, declared the COVID-19 pandemic over, but continues to use the health emergency to justify debt forgiveness.
“It is clearly unfair to saddle working Americans with the debt of those who chose to go to college,” Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Ruthledge, who heads the group, said in an interview. She added that “the Department of Education is required by law to collect the balance due on loans. And President Biden does not have the authority to override that.”
The states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Carolina joined Arkansas in the lawsuit.
Iowa has a Democratic attorney general, but Republican Governor Kim Reynolds signed it on behalf of the state.