11 red states sue to block Biden’s SAVE plan

April 1, 2024
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A coalition of 11 Republican-led states is suing the Biden administration to block its new student loan repayment plan. Kansas is leading the lawsuit.

Filed Thursday, the lawsuit argues that the plan, known as Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE), exceeds the Education Department’s authority, hurts the states’ bottom lines and is just another version of the broad-based debt-relief plan that the Supreme Court struck down last summer in Biden v. Nebraska.

“The law simply does not allow Biden to do what he wants to do,” Kansas attorney general Kris Kobach said in a news release. “Biden is trying to exercise the powers of a king rather than the powers of a President in a constitutional republic.”

Kobach is joined in the suit by attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah. Missouri attorney general Andrew Bailey, who was a plaintiff in Biden v. Nebraska, announced Thursday that he’s also leading a multi-state coalition to bring a similar legal challenge to SAVE.

“Between our two coalitions of states, we will get this matter in front of a judge even more quickly to deliver a win for the American people,” Bailey said in a statement.

The income-driven repayment plan, first proposed in January 2023 and finalized that summer, makes loan payments more affordable and offers more pathways to forgiveness.

Previous iterations of the income-driven repayment plans offered forgiveness after 20 or 25 years of payments, but SAVE offers a quicker pathway for low-balance borrowers. In February, about 153,000 people who enrolled in SAVE and borrowed less than $12,000 in loans and spent 10 years in repayment had their balances wiped out—the first group to see such relief under the plan. That action totaled about $1.2 billion, and ignited a fresh round of conservative furor over the plan.

“Defendant Biden openly boasted about his defiance of the Supreme Court with this move, stating in Jacksonian fashion: ‘the Supreme Court blocked it. They blocked it. But that didn’t stop me’,” the states’ complaint says. “This lawsuit is now necessary to prevent defendants from continuing to flout the law, which includes ignoring Supreme Court decisions.”



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