(PresidentialHill.com)- Early October has almost passed, and yet there still is no action from the Biden administration on the cancellation of federal student loans, as they promised.
Back in August, President Joe Biden issued an executive order that said the federal government would be cancelling roughly $500 billion worth of student debt that more than 40 million individuals held.
While the president himself expressed doubts in the past about his legal ability to do so, he pushed forward with the plan anyway.
To try to justify the move, the Department of Education tapped into the HEROES Act of 2003, a law that was passed toward the beginning of the Iraq War. Part of the law put a temporary freeze on student loan payments that service members as well as their families had during either a national emergency or time of war.
Apparently, the Biden administration was attempting to expand the definition of what “emergency” means to an altogether new form that would enable it to not have to deal with Congress to cancel the student loan debt.
As Fox News recently reported, the steps that the Biden administration has taken — or, rather, hasn’t taken — since the announcement in August have been very unusual.
Typically, a federal agency that’s charged with leading the initiative would start the process of crafting the rules, as Congress mandates. They would notify the requisite people of a draft rule, allow the general public appropriate time to make comments, address any of the concerns that were raised, make changes if necessary and then issue the final rule.
All that the White House has done following the announcement of debt cancellation is publish some press releases, two memos and a fact sheet. There’s no other information available to the public about it.
The Biden administration has continually promised that as many as 8 million borrowers would start to see their debt automatically cancelled by the early part of October, nothing has been released as of yet.
What’s more, the administration doesn’t seem to be on the same page at all. Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House’s press secretary, for instance, recently responded to a lawsuit filed against the tax relief saying that a borrower could choose to “opt out” of this program. The Department of Education’s website, though, provides information to the contrary.
On the same day that Jean-Pierre made that comment, though, the DOE changed its website, according to Fox News.
There are other instances of the Biden administration revising the unwritten plan it put forth after lawsuits were filed by multiple states.
As Michael Poon and Elizabeth Slattery recently wrote in an opinion piece for Fox News:
“The administration’s actions were an obvious attempt to end both cases without having to defend the legality of its policy, doubtless because the loan cancellation program is blatantly unlawful.”
Where the Biden administration goes from here is anyone’s guess. But, it doesn’t seem like loan forgiveness is as much of a slam dunk as the White House made it out to be back in August.