A public interest attorney filed a lawsuit Tuesday morning against the Department of Education to block President Biden’s “illegal” move to cancel more than $500 billion in student loan debt.
The lawsuit seeks a temporary restraining order to prevent the loan handout from going into effect.
Biden, last month, announced that he would cancel $10,000 of federal student loan debt for certain borrowers making less than $125,000 per year, and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients.
Pacific Legal Foundation is arguing that the Biden administration turning to the HEROES Act, which allows the government to modify loans to assist veterans and their families as needed during times of war or other national emergencies, is a “flimsy pretext for a major policy change that Congress has declined to enact.”
“Congress did not authorize the executive branch to unilaterally cancel student debt,” said Caleb Kruckenberg, an attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation. “It’s flagrantly illegal for the executive branch to create a $500 billion program by press release, and without statutory authority or even the basic notice and comment procedure for new regulations.”
When asked about the suit, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Tuesday defended the president’s move, saying that it will provide “relief for working families.”