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August 24, 2022

Biden, Without Congressional Authority, Announces He's Forgiving Student Loans For His Voters -- And Claiming That the "Emergency" Powers He Has Due to Covid Allow Him to Act As a Tyrant, Apparently Forever

Note that Biden already declared an end to the covid emergency when he canceled Trump's Remain in Mexico policy, and his CDC just announced that we're effectively back to normal.

But Biden won't formally say the "emergency" is over -- so he can continue acting as tyrant when he finds it politically useful to do so.


The Decrepit Tyrant has issued his decree.

The Biden administration is canceling up to $20,000 in student debt for Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 for individual borrowers who make under $125,000 per year, and it's extending the pause on repayments by four months, the White House announced on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The decision -- which comes days before the Aug. 31 deadline when loan repayments were set to resume after a series of pandemic pauses -- is expected to alleviate some of the debt burdens of 43 million Americans while also fulfilling a key campaign promise.

Driving the news: Approximately 20 million Americans could have their debt completely canceled under Biden's announcement.

The debt forgiveness for Pell recipients is in addition to the cancellation of up to $10,000 in student debt for other borrowers.

Critically, the Biden administration is taking steps to make the student loan system more manageable for future borrowers.

It will cap monthly payments at 5% of a borrower's monthly income and forgive loan balances after 10 years of payments for borrowers with loan balances of $12,000 or less, among other measures.

Borrow as much as you want, your payments are hard-capped at 5% of your income and end after 10 years, no matter how much of your debt is left outstanding.

The $10,000 in debt relief also applies to households that earn $250,000 a year or less.

Greg Price @greg_price11 · Aug 23 Here are some facts: Only 37% of Americans have a 4-yr college degree, only 13% have graduate degrees, and a full 56% of student loan debt is held by people who went to grad school.

Biden's plan to cancel it would be like taking money from a plumber to pay the debt of a lawyer.

Jonathan Turley @JonathanTurley

The massive loan forgiveness virtually mocks Manchin and his insistence that he secured a compromise to protect the budget.

After signing the recent law, Biden then unilaterally moved to forgive billions in loans without a congressional vote...

Say yeah -- didn't this Republic used to require Congress to pass laws?

Didn't NeverTrump used to caution about the "authoritarian" Trump assuming the powers of a tyrant?

And yet... they're all supportive of this, or silent about it.

Steven Portnoy
How's he doing it?

Biden is employing a post-9/11 law that allows for debt cancelation "in connection with a war or other military operation or national emergency."

Which emergency? "[T]he present COVID-19 pandemic," per a Dept of Ed memo issued yesterday.


Here is that memo.

For the past year and a half, the Office of General Counsel ("OGC"), in consultation with our colleagues at the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel, has conducted a review of the Secretary's legal authority to cancel student debt on a categorical basis. This review has included assessing the analysis outlined in a publicly disseminated January 2021 memorandum signed by a former Principal Deputy General Counsel. As detailed below, we have determined that the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students ("HEROES") Act of 2003 grants the Secretary authority that could be used to effectuate a program of targeted loan cancellation directed at addressing the financial harms of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oh well as long as Biden's handpicked political lawyers said it's okay...

We have thus determined that the January 2021 memorandum was substantively incorrect in its conclusions.

A previous memorandum found they did not have this power -- and now they're saying, "We checked again, and now we've decided we do have this power."

Given the significant public interest in this issue, and the potential for public confusion caused by the public availability of the January 2021 memorandum, I recommend making this memorandum publicly available and publishing it in the Federal Register, so as to provide the general public with notice of the Department's interpretation of the HEROES Act, consistent with statutory requirements. See 5 U.S.C. § 552(a).

I. The Secretary's HEROES Act Authority

The HEROES Act, first enacted in the wake of the September 11 attacks, provides the Secretary broad authority to grant relief from student loan requirements during specific periods (a war, other military operation, or national emergency, such as the present COVID-19 pandemic) and for specific purposes (including to address the financial harms of such a war, other military operation, or emergency). The Secretary of Education has used this authority, under both this and every prior administration since the Act's passage, to provide relief to borrowers in connection
with a war, other military operation, or national emergency, including the ongoing moratorium on student loan payments and interest.

Clay Travis

Joe Biden has no constitutional authority to unilaterally strike down student loan debt. Congress must act to allow this to occur. The Supreme Court will strike down this move. The Biden administration knows this. Which is why this is simply a craven political move for midterms.

Possibly. The fact that a previous Office of General Counsel memorandum found that this maneuver was illegal, and now, just when Biden needs it politically, discovers they Always Had the Power All Along (like Dorothy always had the power to return to Kansas), will weigh against them.

I wonder how NeverTrump feels about their moderate, centrist, non-authoritarian, norms-restoring leftwing Democrat president now?

Here, I'll answer that for you. JV Last at The Bulwark, four hours ago, when he knew that Biden would be announcing this loan cancellation (it had been pre-announced yesterday):


In this, J.V. Last finds himself once again in perfect alignment with MSNBC's Morning Joe 'n Mitzi:

Co-host Joe Scarborough: "The last six years of Obama's administration and Donald Trump's time in the White House, Joe Biden has done more than them, not combined, two, three, four, five, six, seven times. This has been an extraordinarily successful two years, legislatively. Any way you cut it, even Republicans have to admit this privately, and they are. It's been a hell of a run."...

Co-host Mika Brzezinksi: "Pull out 20,000 feet, world stage, preventing a nuclear war, preventing World War III, check. COVID, he survived it, two bouts of it, never went to the hospital. COVID's under control.... It is all moving in Joe Biden's direction. He's got his aviators on, and he's just getting it done."

Remember, The Bulwark and NeverTrump are all "True Conservatives" and not leftwing Democrat Grifter Chickenhawks.

digg this
posted by Ace at 04:49 PM

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