Charlie Rose, whos served as general counsel at the Education Department from 2009 to 2011, said the Biden administration will likely run into a host of legal problems if he moves forward with canceling student loan debt, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“If the issue is litigated, the more persuasive analyses tend to support the conclusion that the Executive Branch likely does not have the unilateral authority to engage in mass student debt cancellation,” Rose said in an internal memo circulated at his law firm Hogan Marren Babbo & Rose.
Biden has said he is considering canceling at least $10,000 per borrower in federally held student loans, provided the beneficiary makes less than $125,000 per year.
“I am considering dealing with some [student] debt reduction, I am not considering $50,000 debt reduction but I’m in the process of taking a hard look at whether there will be additional debt forgiveness,” Biden said last week. “And I’ll have an answer for that in the next couple of weeks.”
However, Rose argued Biden does not have the executive authority to forgive debt, and should instead use agency regulatory power to cancel debt for a number of borrowers.
Other legal experts have also agreed Biden’s plan to cancel debt would get struck down in court.
“It’s a simple question, and the answer is no,” GianCarlo Canaparo, a senior legal fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said when asked whether Biden has the authority to forgive debt by executive order.
“Congress hasn’t taken the first step, which is to give him the power to do this with respect to student loans generally.”