A group of Republican senators has asked the Supreme Court to strike down President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program.
The group of 43 lawmakers led by Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn filed an advisory “amicus brief” with the court Tuesday, arguing that the administration does not have the authority to cancel student loan debt.
The court is scheduled to hear arguments on Biden’s program beginning Feb. 28. At stake is a program Biden announced in August that would forgive up to $20,000 of federally-held student loan debt per borrower. About 26 million borrowers applied for forgiveness before a judge suspended the program while various legal challenges played out.
The Biden administration argued that a 2003 law called the HEROES Act gave the president the authority to cancel the debt without approval from Congress in light of the public health emergency caused by the pandemic. The senators contend that Biden’s broad-based program went beyond what the HEROES Act allows and helps many borrowers who aren’t in financial hardship.
“The idea that outright cancelation is somehow ‘necessary’ to prevent a waning pandemic from causing these 40-million-plus borrowers to be ‘worse’ off on their student loans defies reality,” the senators wrote in the brief.