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The Student-Loan Suspension Is Also Illegal

Sheng Li
Litigation Counsel

April 15, 2023

The Biden administration’s attempt to forgive $400 billion in outstanding student loan debt through administrative fiat has come under richly deserved fire, with its fate now in the hands of the Supreme Court. But an equally unlawful companion giveaway has thus far avoided much controversy.

That giveaway, which began under the Trump administration and has continued ever since, is the administrative suspension of monthly payment obligations and accrual of interest on all outstanding student loans since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar repeatedly pointed to this giveaway — which has cost taxpayers $150 billion — during recent Supreme Court arguments to defend the larger debt forgiveness program. According to Preloger, the Department of Education’s consistent use of the HEROES Act to suspend student-loan repayment and interest accrual since March 2020 is evidence that the same act authorizes mass debt cancellation.

Originally Published in The Hill