February 14, 2023
Last summer, President Biden announced his infamous proposal for cancelling roughly $400 billion in student loan debt. This blanket forgiveness plan, invoked under the cover of the Covid-19 “emergency,” attracted legal challenges from across the nation. These challenges will reach a head later this month, during oral arguments at the Supreme Court of the United States. Landmark filed an amicus brief in one of the two consolidated cases before the Court.
The blanket loan forgiveness plan, however, was not the only massive grant included in President Biden’s student loan agenda. The Department of Education also proposed a radical restructuring of certain loan repayments. Under the Department’s proposed revisions, low-income borrowers could qualify for thousands of dollars in reduced monthly minimums, cancelled interest payments, and eventually the forgiveness of their entire loan.
These radical revisions to “Income-Driven Repayment plans,” despite being couched in bureaucratic, murky language, could generate outrageous costs that rival Biden’s blanket forgiveness. The Department of Education itself estimates that the revisions will cost nearly $138 billion. Other experts, acknowledging the Department’s “long history of underestimating costs of student loans,” predict that the program could cost up to $400 billion dollars.
This massive, unauthorized grant program directly contravenes the Constitution. The power to create programs of this scale belongs to Congress, not the administrative agencies. This is particularly the case when such a program authorizes new spending in the name of the U.S. Treasury, a prerogative reserved to the legislature under our Constitution’s Appropriations Clause.
Last week, Landmark filed a regulatory comment to challenge the proposed revisions to the Income-Drive Repayment program. This comment is an essential first step in holding our administrative state accountable to the Constitution and to the American public. Moreover, our arguments could serve as the basis for future litigation, should the Biden administration ignore the legal shortcomings of their latest student loan boondoggle.
Landmark will continue to monitor the student loan forgiveness situation and propose legal remedies as they become available.
Our full regulatory comment, highlighting the Constitutional issues with the proposed revisions, can be found here.
SUPPORT LANDMARK LEGAL FOUNDATION
We are truly facing existential threats to our individual rights and liberties, the Constitution, and our national character. If unchallenged, this assault on our very way of life will ruin our great nation. With your financial and moral support, Landmark is not going to let that happen without a fight. Will you join us?