Joe Biden is relying on the HEROES Act for his decision to cancel various student loans. As reported by the Daily Caller, the HEROES Act allows for the modification of federal student loan rules in the midst of “a war or other military operation or national emergency,” and was passed to help military members after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
While the HEROES Act was meant to help military members, the Biden administration is relying on the “national emergency” language in the act as the legal basis for its decision to cancel student loans. More particularly, according to a recent Department of Education (DOE) memo:
In present circumstances, this authority could be used to effectuate a program of categorical debt cancellation directed at addressing the financial harms caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Secretary could waive or modify statutory and regulatory provisions to effectuate a certain amount of cancellation for borrowers who have been financially harmed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In other words, the Biden administration asserts that Covid-19 is still a national emergency and that it is to blame for the financial difficulties plaguing many Americans. As a result, the provisions of the HEROES Act, which can be applied to national emergencies, permit/support the administration’s decision to cancel student loans. As expected, Biden did not mention the impact that his policies have had on the economy, energy prices, inflation, and food/gas prices. Rather than taking personal accountability for his many failures, he, once again, resorted to Covid-19 as the scapegoat.
Aside from the various constitutional and/or other legal arguments opposing Biden’s loan cancellation plan, there is another potential and glaring problem with his position. Specifically, Biden argues that Covid-19 still constitutes a national emergency that justifies wiping out such loans. However, in April of this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated that it would be rescinding a public health order that was first instituted by former President Donald Trump in 2020. The order was initiated under a public health law known as Title 42 and, as reported by CNBC, was “instituted to stop the spread of Covid-19 across the nation’s land borders with Mexico and Canada.” The CDC indicated that it would lift the order on May 23, 2022 because, according to agency spokesperson Kristen Nordlund, after reviewing current public health conditions, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky decided that it was no longer necessary.
Are Americans to believe that Covid-19 is now a national emergency when, just three months ago, it was not even serious enough to maintain Title 42? This position is simply untenable. As a result, Americans should see this for what it is, which is an effort to sway voters as the midterm elections approach. However, as many have noted, this plan will have serious financial/tax consequences for many Americans. As former Secretary of Education William Bennett recently told Fox News Digital, “This is a terrible, terrible, idiotic idea.”
Americans should not be deceived and should see this as nothing more than a desperate attempt to “entice” voters to support a failing party and president.