Arkansas Attorney General speaks out amid student loan debt arguments

Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 6:27 PM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A case that could affect millions of American borrowers will hear its first arguments this week.

The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments over President Joe Biden’s student debt relief plan on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

This comes after Arkansas, along with five other states, filed a lawsuit in 2022, arguing Biden does not have the power to cancel consumer debt without Congress.

Attorney General Tim Griffin said it is important for people to know the lawsuit is not about how he feels about the actual issues, but rather, the lawsuit focuses on the process.

“We are in court because there are strong legal arguments to be made and the 8th circuit court of appeals agreed with us, that says this is unlawful and there is no congressional authorization for this,” he said.

The plan announced in Aug. 2022 would cancel $10,000 in student loan debt for those making less than $125,000 or households with less than $250,000 in income.

To cancel student loan debt, the Biden administration relied on what’s commonly known as the Heroes Act, which was initially intended to keep service members from being worse off financially while they fought in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Griffin is concerned the administration is going through back channels because they did not like the initial answer.

“They couldn’t get it through congress, so they looked for a way to do it independently of congress administratively and there are all sorts of problems with that,” he said.

Throughout the next couple of months, justices will be asking whether the Heroes Act gives the Biden administration the power to enact the plan and how it went about doing so.

As it will most likely be months before there is an answer in this case, Griffin is expecting to hear something by June.