Nancy Pelosi Says President Lacks Authority to ‘Forgive’ Student Debt

A reasonable House of Representative will impeach Biden for illegal activity

In July of 2021, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said President Joe Biden does not have the executive authority to issue “debt forgiveness,” arguing that such action would be illegal and that it has “to be an act of Congress.”

Nancy Pelosi said Biden violated the law and can now be impeached
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi gestures as she speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., March 3, 2022.

“People think that the President of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness. He does not.  He can postpone. He can delay. But he does not have that power. That has to be an act of Congress,” Pelosi said July 28 at a press conference.

“The President can’t do it. So that’s not even a discussion. Not everybody realizes that. But the President can only postpone, delay, but not forgive,” she added.

She also mentioned how voters would be mad about student loan “forgiveness,”appearing to question whether such a policy would be “fair.”

Pelosi mentioned a scenario where “your child just decided they want to – at this time, not want to go to college, but you’re paying taxes to forgive somebody else’s obligations.”

Biden’s Plan for Student Loan ‘Forgiveness’ Is Forbidden by the Constitution

According to the New York Sun, if the president’s approach succeeds, our national parchment will be reduced to a suggestion.

Nancy Pelosi said Biden violated the law and can now be impeached
Nancy Pelosi said Biden violated the law and can now be impeached

The most important point to make about President Biden’s student loan forgiveness is that it’s a move the Constitution prohibits. It puts American taxpayers on the hook for paying the student loans of their fellow citizens without going through the process the Constitution requires.

The way Mr. Biden promised the giveaway without legal justification stands in stark contrast to how his administration justified launching missiles against foes in Syria just yesterday. The USCENTCOM communications director, Joe Buccino, said, “The president gave the direction for these strikes pursuant to his Article II authority… .”

Yet the White House offered no such basis for his student loan gimmick, because the Constitution’s relevant portion — Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 — prohibits him from spending a dime. That passage states, “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law.”

Nancy Pelosi said Biden violated the law and can now be impeached
Nancy Pelosi said Biden violated the law and can now be impeached

As recently as July, Speaker Pelosi explained this limitation on the chief executive, speaking as part of a co-equal branch of government and speaker of, in the House of Representatives, the house in which any federal spending must originate.

“People think that the president of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness,” she said of Mr. Biden’s proposal. “He does not. He can postpone. He can delay. But he does not have that power. That has to be an act of Congress,” which, as it happens, is controlled by the president’s party.

So, why is Mr. Biden not going the constitutional route down Pennsylvania Avenue and instead rolling over the rule of law and violating his oath of office? What changed since the White House press secretary, Jennifer Psaki, put the focus on Congress to fund the proposal not quite a month into the administration?

The executive branch “does not have the statutory authority to cancel, compromise, discharge, or forgive student loans,

Nancy Pelosi said Biden violated the law and can now be impeached
Nancy Pelosi said Biden violated the law and can now be impeached

The Department of Education agreed with Pelosi, arguing in a 2021 memo that the executive branch “does not have the statutory authority to cancel, compromise, discharge, or forgive, on a blanket or mass basis, principal balances of student loans, and/or to materially modify the repayment amounts or terms thereof.”

Despite Pelosi’s remarks, Biden issued an order Wednesday “forgiving” up to $10,000 in federal student debt for individuals making under $125,000 annually and households making under $250,000, as well as relieving $20,000 in debt for Pell grant recipients. His decision marks the biggest loan “cancellation” program in history, and comes months before the midterms.

Asked Tuesday about reports that the announcement would be forthcoming, Pelosi appeared to welcome the news, though she acknowledged that it was unclear where Biden derived the authority for it.

Pelosi’s office did not immediately respond to an inquiry from National Review, asking if she still stood by those comments.

Republican lawmakers blasted Biden in a host of statements Wednesday, arguing that the “scheme” benefits the upper class, and transfers the cost to taxpayers.

Supreme Court will probably CANCEL Biden’s Illegal Move

Nancy Pelosi said Biden violated the law and can now be impeached
Nancy Pelosi said Biden violated the law and can now be impeached

The Biden administration is using a flatly absurd legal argument to justify forgiving student debt, something even Democrats thought was only a power of Congress not that long ago.

Even the Department of Education thought it was only a power of Congress not that long ago. On January 12, 2021, the department’s office of general counsel published a legal opinion that cited Congress’s power of the purse under the Constitution and said, “The Secretary does not have statutory authority to provide blanket or mass cancellation, compromise, discharge, or forgiveness of student loan principal balances, and/or materially modify the repayment amounts or terms thereof, whether due to the COVID-19 pandemic or for any other reason.”

Nancy Pelosi said Biden violated the law and can now be impeached
Nancy Pelosi said Biden violated the law and can now be impeached

But now, as if by magic, even though the laws are all the same, the office of general counsel has found legal authority for the secretary of education to go it alone. The legal opinion this time around cites the HEROES Act, which was passed after 9/11, and claims that the emergency powers given to the secretary under that law “could be used to effectuate a program of targeted loan cancellation directed at addressing the financial harms of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Never mind that the 2021 opinion specifically considered the HEROES Act and found its provisions too narrow for blanket cancellation. Never mind that student-loan recipients have already benefited tremendously from a repayment pause of over two years due to the pandemic. Never mind that the unemployment rate is currently at 2 percent for college graduates, and financial harms from the pandemic are mostly a thing of the past.

Some have speculated that the Supreme Court would, based on recent decisions that restricted executive power, put the Department of Education back in its place, but those arguments don’t matter if nobody has standing to bring a case in the first place. An April 15 article in the Virginia Law Review by Jack Hoover considers the question of standing and concludes that it’s entirely possible that nobody in America has it.