Sunday, Feb. 05, 2023|
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It may be a bit late in the game, but the Biden administration could benefit by creating a new Cabinet position: The Secretary of Thinking Things Through.
If the president had such an adviser, the White House wouldn’t be in the position it is now, informing those applying for student loan debt relief with the web site message: “At this time, we are not accepting applications.”
That sotto voce statement is a far cry from Biden’s fanfare, first blared on the campaign trail, that he would forgive student loan debt by up to $20,000 for borrowers, freeing up their money to live life to the fullest.
According to Democratic cheerleaders, it’s was necessary, it was overdue, it was vital to the lives of those who took out massive loans.
It was also not in the president’s power to make such a move.
That’s the reason a U.S. District Court judge in Texas struck down the plan on Thursday.
U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman, whom The Hill noted is a Trump appointee, said the program is “an unconstitutional exercise of Congress’s legislative power” and the administration would need approval from Congress to move forward.
“Whether the Program constitutes good public policy is not the role of this Court to determine,” Pittman said. “Still, no one can plausibly deny that it is either one of the largest delegations of legislative power to the executive branch, or one of the largest exercises of legislative power without congressional authority in the history of the United States.”
This is not unexpected. Questions as to the Constitutionality of Biden’s student loan debt relief scheme had been raised for nearly as long as it had been touted. They had been raised by conservative voices, as in, people Democrats don’t listen to.
If Biden had a voice of reason on staff, a No Man if you will, he could have gotten word that he’d need congressional authority to pull this off.
Of course, that precludes that this was news to him.
The unfortunate truth is that Biden was hell-bent on barreling his student loan debt plan through, whether it was in his purview or not.
It was all about winning the moment, both with the coveted Democratic college-grad demographic, as well as progressives in the party.
The losers were those same college grads, gulled into thinking they could walk away from a chunk of what they owed, and now caught up short by judicial realities.
This isn’t the first legal challenge to Biden’s loan forgiveness plan.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit issued a stay on the program last month after an appeal from six Republican attorneys, according to reports.
The White House was
trying to elbow the student
loan program under the HEROES Act of 2003, which offers relief in cases of national emergency.
Biden could have avoided these legal battles if he had worked with Congress, as he did with the Inflation Reduction Act. But it might not have passed.
As the Secretary of Thinking Things Through might say: told you so.
— Boston Herald
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