As the Biden administration prepares to forgive between $10,000 and $20,000 in student loans for certain borrowers, six Republican states have filed a lawsuit to stop the program.
Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Carolina filed the lawsuit in a federal court in Missouri, arguing that the plan is an unconstitutional overreach by the executive branch.
“The Department of Education is required, under the law, to collect the balance due on loans. And President Biden does not have the authority to override that,” Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge told the Associated Press.
“The president does not have the authority to put himself in the place of Congress,” Rutledge added. “These actions must be taken by Congress, and he can’t override that.”
The lawsuit is seeking an injunction to halt the payments, which are slated to begin in October. Under the plan, borrowers earning less than $125,000 a year would be eligible to have $10,000 of their loans forgiven. Those who received Pell Grants can have $20,000 forgiven.
“When President Biden attempts to circumvent the Constitution in order to deliver on a political promise, myself and other state attorneys general take issue with this,” Rutledge said during a press conference.
It is the second lawsuit filed to stop the Biden administration’s plan to forgive student loan debt.
The White House has defended the program and said that the Department of Education is on schedule to release the application for the forgiveness program in October.