While the constitutionality of President Joe Biden’s student loan bailout is awaiting a Supreme Court decision, a bill re-introduced by two House members would block the Biden administration from canceling student loan debt on a mass scale.
The Student Loan Accountability Act, authored by U.S. Representatives Mike Gallagher (R-WI-08) and Drew Ferguson (R-GA-03) would also prevent forgiven loans from getting an additional tax break and it would bar the Internal Revenue Service from sharing American’s tax information for the purpose of implementing mass loan cancelation.
The bill faces an uphill battle in the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate, and no chance of being signed by the president pushing his sweeping student loan bailout. It does send a message.
Gallagher said Biden’s $441 billion debt transfer from borrowers to all taxpayers is reckless and unconstitutional. A majority of the U.S. Supreme Court may think so, too, at least based on some of the tough questions they asked during last month’s oral arguments.
“It benefits the affluent at the expense of hardworking Americans and is a slap in the face to anyone that worked to pay off their debt, saved money for theirs or their kids tuition, or served in the military to earn education benefits,” the Wisconsin congressman said. “This bill takes action to make it abundantly clear that the Biden administration cannot unilaterally forgive student loans and continue to abuse executive authority to placate his radical progressive base.”
Last summer, Biden unilaterally issued his constitutionally suspect student loan forgiveness fiat to provide up to $20,000 in taxpayer-funded relief to some 40 million college borrowers. He used a post-9/11 law that, in part, states during declared national emergencies the secretary of the Department of Education is granted authority to “waive or modify any statutory or regulatory’ provision” governing student loan programs.
Legal experts have said Biden’s taxpayer-funded largess, announced just weeks before the crucial midterm elections, is a “chilling disregard” for constitutional limitations.
“President Biden is something of a constitutional recidivist when it comes to executive overreach,” Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University and practicing criminal defense attorney, told Fox News Digital in late August. “He has been repeatedly found to have violated the Constitution in his unilateral use of executive powers.”
A half a dozen Republican-led states sued the Biden administration last year, arguing the plan violates the constitution’s separation of powers. Lower courts have blocked implementation. The Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling by late June.
Ferguson said Biden’s “big government socialist proposal wouldn’t just miraculously make student loan forgiveness disappear.”
“This radical move is fundamentally unfair and would cost hardworking taxpayers at least $400 billion – meaning Americans who have fully paid off their student loans, worked hard to pay for their education, or chose not to enroll in college are stuck footing the bill, the Ohio congressman said.
“While the Supreme Court debates the constitutionality of this overreaching proposal, the Student Loan Accountability Act would quickly put this discussion to rest. Congress must focus on market driven solutions that bring down the cost of higher education, including reducing the government’s role in the student loan market,” Ferguson added.
But a new poll suggests a solid majority of Americans support Biden’s “free money” plan.
The Newsweek survey shows 62 percent of respondents back Biden’s plan, while 18 percent said they opposed it. In September, an NBC News poll found Americans split, with 43 percent supporting it, 44 percent opposed. U.S. veterans, meanwhile, are decidedly against the bailout, National Review reports. According to a recent poll by Mission Roll Call, a leading veterans’ advocacy organization, 76 percent of respondents said they disapprove of the student-loan debt forgiveness initiative for those who haven’t served in the military.
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M.D. Kittle is the National Political Editor for The Star News Network.