Arkansas joins lawsuit against Biden administration over student debt forgiveness

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Arkansas and five other states are suing the Biden administration over its plan to forgive some of the debt of those who took out loans to attend college, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced Thursday.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, alleges that President Joe Biden violated federal law and exceeded his constitutional authority by issuing an executive order to forgive student debt for certain borrowers.

“President Biden’s illegal political game puts self-built college loan debt on the backs of millions of hard-working Americans who are struggling to pay their utility bills and home loans amid Biden inflation” , Rutledge said in a statement. “President Biden does not have the authority to arbitrarily write off the college debt of adults who have chosen to take out these loans.”

In August, Biden announced a student loan debt forgiveness plan that could provide relief to more than 125,000 Arkansans. Under the proposal, borrowers could have up to $10,000 of their student loan debt forgiven. If the borrower qualifies for Pell Grants, the amount of debt that could be forgiven could be as high as $20,000.

Biden’s student loan debt forgiveness is only open to people earning less than $125,000 a year or $250,000 a year for households.

Biden’s announcement drew unified criticism from Republican congressional lawmakers who said Biden lacked the authority to issue an executive order to forgive student loan debt. Biden said the economic challenges of the covid-19 pandemic have created a need to provide relief to those with student loan debt.

Arkansas joins Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Carolina in the lawsuit against the Biden administration.

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