Wisconsin Public Radio

Conservative Wisconsin Group Sues Over Biden’s Student Loan Proposal

Department of Education hopes to open debt relief applications later this month.

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Oct 4th, 2022 03:23 pm
UWM Sandburg Residence Halls. Photo by Christopher Hillard.

UWM Sandburg Residence Halls. Photo by Christopher Hillard.

A fiscally conservative Wisconsin-based association of taxpayers is the latest group to sue over the Biden Administration’s student debt relief plan.

The Brown County Taxpayers Association filed its lawsuit Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, arguing the debt forgiveness plan violates the U.S. Constitution.

The group, which is being represented by the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, is asking a federal judge to grant a preliminary injunction that would stop debt cancelation. It’s also requested a temporary restraining order, which would halt the debt forgiveness program in the meantime before the court decides on the injunction.

The Department of Education says it plans to open debt relief applications this month, with a deadline to apply by the end of 2023. Borrowers making less than $125,000 a year would be eligible to have up to $10,000 in federal student loans canceled, while those who received a federal Pell grant available to help low-income families pay for college could have up $20,000 forgiven.

The federal government is already fielding multiple lawsuits over the student debt plan. That includes one from six Republican-controlled states — Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Carolina — and another from Arizona’s attorney general.

The lawsuit filed in Wisconsin argues Democratic President Joe Biden and the U.S. Department of Education are violating the Constitutionally-mandated separation of powers by moving to cancel debt without Congressional approval.

It also argues the plan violates the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause because “White House officials have articulated an improper racial motive” in crafting the plan. There’s no racial criteria that determines who qualifies for the loans, but the suit cites a White House fact sheet that says the plan will “advance racial equality” and help narrow the racial wealth gap because Black borrowers are more likely to borrow for school and to take out larger loans, and because Black students and other students of color are more likely than white students to qualify for income-based Pell grants.

And the suit says Biden’s administration improperly used a federal law called the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act, or HEROES Act, as a legal basis for forgiving the debt. That law, first passed in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, gives the Secretary of Education authority to waive student financial aid rules during times of war or other national emergencies, and both the Trump and Biden administration have previously cited it in order to pause student loan repayments and interest during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conservative Wisconsin taxpayer group sues over Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

4 thoughts on “Conservative Wisconsin Group Sues Over Biden’s Student Loan Proposal”

  1. GodzillakingMKE says:

    Racial Motive. The one that exists is from them. I consider WILL a nazi orginzation. Rick is the grand dragon.

  2. Paul Nannis says:

    WILL is evil

  3. gerrybroderick says:

    Where there’s the WILL, there’s the Nay.

  4. nickzales says:

    Did you see them bring any lawsuits over forgiving Robin Vos’ $300,000 in loans? Of course, not.

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