Nearly 100 Republican lawmakers have demanded a response from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) after President Joe Biden’s announcement that he would forgive hundreds of billions of dollars in student debt.
The demand came in a letter from Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) that was co-signed by 93 other Republicans.
On Aug. 24, after months of speculation that such a move was imminent, Biden announced the cancellation of as much as $20,000 in federal student loan debt for Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 for non-Pell Grant recipients.
The letter noted earlier comments from Pelosi in July 2021 saying that Biden did not have the authority to grant such wide-reaching student loan relief.
“People think that the president of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness. He does not. He can postpone, he can delay, but he does not have that power. That has to be an act of Congress,” Pelosi was quoted as saying.
Loan Forgiveness Won’t Solve Problem
Beyond what they called “massive executive overreach” by Biden, whose move they said was illegal, the Republican signatories also contended that the cancellation would only further raise higher education costs.
The approximately $300 billion cancellation, Hice wrote, “will drive up the cost of higher education, exacerbating the very problem President Biden pretends to address.”
“Noticeably absent from the President’s plan is any plausible legal authority to implement such a policy,” the letter continued. “The legislative and executive branches each possess defined powers under the Constitution.
Hice said there’s no provision of the Constitution nor any act of Congress, including the Higher Education Act, that grants the president or the secretary of education the authority to unilaterally forgive student loans.
“Although we may disagree on many things, your statement in July 2021 was correct,” Hice wrote to Pelosi. “President Biden’s student loan giveaway is unconstitutional and illegal.”
Hice urged Pelosi to “act immediately in defense of our Constitution” and protect the powers of the legislative branch.
In a news release about the letter to Pelosi, Hice called Biden a “desperate politician” and said the president’s transfer of $300 billion in student loan debt onto the backs of taxpayers is “a politically craven stunt” that mocks the Constitution and rule of law.
“Speaker Pelosi has a choice to make,” Hice stated in the news release. “Will she cave to the President’s shockingly illegal act or will she back up her own words by taking swift action?”
From The Epoch Times