by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Other than unmarried women, no demographic was a more reliable vote for President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party this Election Day than college-educated voters. So it should come as no surprise that Biden once again showered this constituency with federal money this week when he announced that the Department of Education would, for the sixth time, delay all student loan payments.
To be fair, former President Donald Trump first delayed these payments before Biden did. But that was at the height of the COVID shutdown. No one could pay because no one was allowed to work. Biden has since assured the nation that “the pandemic is over.” Inflation is still rising faster than real wages, but the unemployment rate has fallen to near pre-pandemic levels. Everyone, especially the most privileged and wealthiest among us who hold college degrees, should be able to pay their bills by now.
Biden’s new excuse for delaying student loan payments is that federal courts need time to decide whether or not Biden’s separate but related student debt amnesty plan is legal. It is most certainly not legal. The 2003 HEROES Act, the law Biden claims gives him the power to issue student debt amnesties, was passed by Congress after 9/11 so that National Guardsmen called to duty to fight a war wouldn’t have to pay their student loans while they were serving their country. In no way whatsoever did Congress intend to give any president blanket authority to cancel all student debt at any time for any reason, which is what the Biden administration argues.
If a federal court ever recognizes a plaintiff’s ability to establish standing, Biden will lose this lawsuit. That would be a huge win for the American taxpayer since Biden’s student debt amnesty is terrible public policy.