Washington Watch

Biden student loan scheme fails at Supreme Court; Mackinac Center suit ongoing

‘That has to be an act of Congress,’ said former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as quoted by the court

June began and ended with official repudiations of President Joe Biden’s attempts to alter the terms of student loans.

On June 30, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in Biden v. Nebraska, that the president does not have the authority, under the Higher Education Act of 1965 and the HEROES Act of 2003, to issue a blanket cancelation of student loan payments.

Six states sued Biden for the student loan pause, arguing that the president had exceeded his authority. The court agreed, even citing former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, to argue the president does not have the unilateral authority to cancel student loans.

“People think that the president of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness,” Pelosi said, speaking at a July 28, 2021, press conference. “He does not. He can postpone. He can delay. But he does not have that power. That has to be an act of Congress.”

On June 3, Biden signed into law House Resolution 3746, which authorized an increase of America’s debt ceiling. That bill contained a provision to terminate the student loan pause 60 days after June 30. That pause will end Aug. 29.

Patrick Wright, vice president of legal affairs at the Mackinac Center, said the case against Biden’s student loan pause will continue, despite the Supreme Court ruling and the cancelation of the pause in the debt ceiling bill.

“In Biden v. Nebraska, the U.S. Supreme Court has protected taxpayers across the country by ensuring that the executive branch cannot unilaterally cancel debt in the form of widespread loan forgiveness,” Wright said. “Our case argues that the same branch cannot inflict $150 billion of debt on the American people through continued loan deferment and paused interest rates. Congress has said the nearly three-year illegal pause will come to end, but we are continuing our suit to prevent the administration from using other workarounds.”

The Supreme Court decision went 6-3 against Biden.

Read the opinion for yourself here

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.