The president remains his own worst enemy, which is a pretty massive statement. Biden inadvertently sabotaged the legal justification for his student loan forgiveness plan.
Biden was interviewing on “60 Minutes” with host Scott Pelley. The president was asked whether the pandemic is “over” since he was able to attend the Detroit Auto Show last week. It was the first time this event had happened since 2019.
Biden declared without exception that the pandemic is “over.”
“The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lotta work on it,” the president said.
“But the pandemic is over. If you notice, no one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape,” he continued. “And so I think it’s changing. And I think this is a perfect example of it.”
Well, if what the president said is true, then there are certain implications in this declaration.
Last month, the president announced his student loan forgiveness plan to cancel $10,000 of student loan debt per borrower. The borrower must earn $125,000 or less. There would also be $20,000 of debt relief for each Pell Grant recipient.
The very same day as the announcement, Biden’s administration released the legal justification for Biden’s plan. A memo was released by the Education Department that claimed a post-9/11 law known as the HEROES Act of 2003. This authorizes broad debt cancelation.
The memo said: “The HEROES Act, first enacted in the wake of the September 11 attacks, provides the Secretary broad authority to grant relief from student loan requirements during specific periods (a war, other military operation, or national emergency, such as the present COVID-19 pandemic) and for specific purposes (including to address the financial harms of such a war, other military operation, or emergency).
The Secretary of Education has used this authority, under both this and every prior administration since the Act’s passage, to provide relief to borrowers in connection with a war, other military operation, or national emergency, including the ongoing moratorium on student loan payments and interest.”
Charles Cooke at National Review explained the implications of Biden’s admission.
“But, even if one were to ignore all [of the questions of legality], one could still not get past the fact that the powers to which Biden laid claim can be applied only when there is an active emergency, and that the active emergency Biden is citing has now passed,” Cooke wrote.