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 December 5, 2022

Joe Biden's student loan handout suffers another loss

The Washington Post reports that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has just upheld a lower court decision that stopped President Joe Biden's student loan handout in its tracks. 

That lower court decision came from U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman of Texas. In mid-November, Pittman ruled that Biden lacked the constitutional authority, as president, to unilaterally cancel federal student loan debt.

Pittman wrote:

Whether the Program constitutes good public policy is not the role of this Court to determine. Still, no one can plausibly deny that it is either one of the largest delegations of legislative power to the executive branch, or one of the largest exercises of legislative power without congressional authority in the history of the United States.

Pittman also placed a hold on the student loan handout program, preventing the Biden administration from implementing it.

The Biden administration appealed Pittman's decision as well as the stay to the 5th Circuit.

Now, the 5th Circuit has upheld the stay, and it has fast-tracked oral arguments regarding the merits of the case.

Biden, here, is trying to unilaterally cancel federal student loan debt using nothing more than executive action.

Biden is looking to cancel up to $10,000 per borrower, or up to $20,000 if the borrower is a Pell Grant recipient. A borrower, to qualify, must be earning less than $125,000 per year if single or less than $250,000 per year if married.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that Biden's plan will likely cost north of $400 billion. But, it is looking less and less likely to happen.

Legal experts believe that Biden is unlikely to have much success before the 5th Circuit.

There is another challenge to Biden's student loan handout that is going through the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, which was brought by multiple Republican-led states.

All signs seem to suggest that these cases will ultimately end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

One can never say for sure what will happen there. But, with the court's conservative majority, one would expect a conservative reading of the U.S. Constitution, which would be likely to put an end to Biden's student loan handout.

Biden, in fact, appears to realize that his loan handout is likely heading toward ultimate defeat. Accordingly, it seems that he is trying to appease federal student loan borrowers by doing something that he said he wasn't going to do, namely, extending - yet again - the COVID-19 moratorium on federal student loan payments.

Written By:
Robert Ayers

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