WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Republican senators are calling for lawsuits to block President Joe Biden’s order forgiving student loan debt, calling it an illegal overreach and abuse of executive power.
“There’s no authority for the president to wave a wand and to forgive billions of dollars of student loan debt and yet he did it anyway,” Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said.
He and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, say they hope a lawsuit could push a court to block the plan before it goes into effect this winter.
“This would really be a tremendous win for the fight against inflation, it would be a tremendous win against the unfairness that it brings to people that don’t go to college that pay for people to go to college,” Grassley said.
The White House contends the president is on solid legal ground and has encouraged Americans to apply for forgiveness next month. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill, said Republicans are wrong to try to undercut the relief.
“Why would they want to keep this financial burden on the backs of so many young graduates and so many middle-class families?” she said.
But not all Democrats are on board with the president’s approach.
“I just don’t think that the Band-Aid approach works,” Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., said.
She said it is Congress’ responsibility, not the White House’s, to decide how to help students.
“The legislative branch is the one that appropriates money and this was a decision taken by the executive branch. That’s not common,” she said.
No suits have been filed yet, but the Arizona state attorney general has hinted he and other AGs could take action soon.