Four House Republicans are pressuring Education Secretary Miguel CardonaMiguel CardonaPresident, first lady honor teachers at White House awards ceremony Ilhan Omar to Biden: 'Deliver on your promise to cancel student debt' Florida Board of Education approves sanctions on eight school districts over coronavirus mandates MORE to rule out a potential mass forgiveness of federal student loan debt without congressional approval.
In a Wednesday letter to Cardona, GOP Reps. Ted BuddTheodore (Ted) Paul BuddDemocratic retirements could make a tough midterm year even worse Democrats look to make debt ceiling a winning issue Veteran, author launches US Senate campaign in North Carolina MORE (N.C.), Warren DavidsonWarren Earl DavidsonCongress needs to step up on crypto, or Biden might crush it Watchdog: 7 members of Congress allegedly failed to disclose stock trades On The Money — Yellen sounds alarm on national default MORE (Ohio), Scott Petty (Pa.) and Barry LoudermilkBarry LoudermilkOn The Money — Yellen sounds alarm on national default GOP lawmakers urge Cardona against executive student loan wipeout House GOP stages mask mandate protest MORE (Ga.), asked the education secretary for a “commitment that you will not seek to usurp the will of the people and the authority Congress has delegated in cancelling student debt beyond what the law clearly allows.”
“Mass cancellation of student loan debt would not only be a clear violation of the separation of powers but would also be an affront to the millions of borrowers who responsibly repaid their loan balances,” they wrote.
President BidenJoe BidenBiden: Democrats' spending plan is 'a bigger darn deal' than Obamacare Biden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Biden: Comment that DOJ should prosecute those who defy subpoenas 'not appropriate' MORE is under pressure from progressive lawmakers and activists to wipe out up to $50,000 in federally held student debt per borrower through an executive order. The president has ruled out going that high, but has expressed openness to relieving a smaller portion of debt, likely scaled to a borrower’s income, through administrative action.
While Biden and Cardona have wiped out roughly $9 billion of the approximately $1.6 trillion federal student loan balance sheet through pre-existing forgiveness programs, the president is waiting for the results of a legal review to take action on broad-based forgiveness.
Under former President TrumpDonald TrumpHarris stumps for McAuliffe in Virginia On The Money — Sussing out what Sinema wants Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — The Facebook Oversight Board is not pleased MORE, the Justice Department determined that then-Education Secretary Betsy DeVosBetsy DeVosMcAuliffe rolls out new ad hitting back at Youngkin on education Biden DOJ tries to shield DeVos from deposition in lawsuit over student loans The long con targeting student survivors of sexual assault MORE did not have the unilateral power to wipe out student loan balances, though the Biden administration is not bound by the decision. There is also considerable debate over how far the president and Education Secretary can go to forgive student loan debt under federal law.
Even so, the four GOP congressmen argued that the law had already been settled, citing the Trump-era decision on loan forgiveness and several general provisions of the Constitution that establish the powers of Congress.
“Any deviation from Congress’s clear intention for student loan balances to be repaid, with limited and specific exceptions, would be of grave concern,” they wrote.