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March 1, 2023

SCOTUS Hears Challenge to Biden’s Executive Order Canceling $430 Billion in Student Loan Debt

DES MOINES— The United States Supreme Court heard oral argument Tuesday in Nebraska v. Biden, a multistate lawsuit Iowa joined challenging the Biden Administration’s executive order that would unlawfully cancel $430 billion in student-loan debt. Attorney General Brenna Bird traveled to Washington, D.C. for Nebraska’s argument on behalf of the six states. 

In August 2022, Biden announced an executive order that would entitle a married couple making up to $250,000 a year to $20,000 each in student loan cancellation. That range includes all but the top 5% of earners.  

“Iowans who go straight into the workforce, start a family, or enlist in the military shouldn’t have to pay off someone else’s loan debt,” said Attorney General Bird. “Mass student debt cancellation is unconstitutional and far exceeds the President’s Constitutional authority. Congress never passed a law allowing the President to cancel hundreds of billions of dollars in loan debt. We must hold the Biden Administration to the Constitution and stop the federal overreach.”  

The lawsuit argues that President Biden’s executive order violates the separation of powers and misuses the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003 (HEROES Act) as justification for the mass cancellation of student loan debt. Congress passed the HEROES Act to protect soldiers fighting in the global war on terror who were at risk of student loan default. The HEROES Act was intended to provide relief to servicemembers, not to cancel nearly half-a-trillion dollars in debt.   

Iowa has joined Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Carolina in the lawsuit.    

Listen to audio of the oral argument here.  


For More Information:

Alyssa Brouillet, Press Secretary


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