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Arizona sues Biden administration over student loan forgiveness

The lawsuit challenges the president’s authority to cancel more than $500 billion in student loan debt without congressional approval.

PHOENIX — Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Biden administration to stop its "illegal" student loan cancellation program.

The lawsuit challenges the president’s authority, through the Department of Education, to cancel more than $500 billion in student loan debt without congressional approval.

“This mass debt forgiveness program is fundamentally unfair, unconstitutional, and unwise,” said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “The question Americans need to be asking is why college costs so much in the first place?”

Under the student debt cancellation program, the administration plans to cancel $10,000 to $20,000 of student loan debt for people who make less than $125,000 annually or $250,000 annually for a married person filing jointly.

RELATED: CBO: Biden's student debt plan would cost $400 billion over 30 years

In his lawsuit, Brnovich asserts the Biden administration does not have the authority to cancel student debt. 

Brnovich said Biden is wrongfully relying on the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act (HEROES Act) and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The HEROES Act was a response to the September 11 attacks to relieve active-duty personnel from financial hardship while defending our nation. The act also includes individuals who reside in disaster areas affected by a national emergency. 

Brnovich said Biden's is attempting to stretch the HEROES Act to assert authority over all borrowers in the country, citing the COVID-19 pandemic as a national emergency and the entire United States as a disaster area.

Brnovich said the HEROES Act requires that any action by the Department of Education to “modify or waive” loan requirements must ensure that borrowers are not placed in a worse position financially if not for the “national emergency." Brnovich asserts several federal loan borrowers have not suffered in relation to their loans because, from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Education has suspended all payment obligations and applied 0% interest. 

Brnovich is asking the court to declare the mass debt cancellation unconstitutional and not in accordance with the law.  



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