WASHINGTON—House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) today are raising concerns about the Biden administration’s ongoing efforts to hijack the court system to enact a radical student loan cancellation agenda. In a letter to Secretary Cardona, Chairs Comer and Foxx request documents and information about how the Biden administration is using the federal courts to advance a settlement scheme to bypass lawful processes to enact President Biden’s student loan bailout.
“The Committee on Oversight and Accountability and the Committee on Education and the Workforce are investigating the Department of Education’s (“Department”) decision to discharge at least $6 billion in student loans for over 200,000 borrowers through a class action settlement in Sweet v. Cardona. The Department’s handling of this case has evolved significantly over the course of two administrations, raising serious questions about the Biden administration’s motivation to pursue a massive settlement that extends well beyond the relief initially sought by plaintiffs. Facts surrounding the Sweet v. Cardona litigation suggest the Biden administration may be working indirectly through the settlement to bypass lawful processes to fulfill student loan bailout promises made by the President. With this letter, we request documents and information to assist with our oversight of this massive student loan debt transfer scheme,” wrote Chairs Comer and Foxx.
Under the Biden Administration, the Department of Education joined with the plaintiffs’ request in Sweet vs. Cardona to obtain the court’s approval of a blanket settlement to discharge pending student loans for class members, and to grant refunds of loan payments made by those who attended any of over 150 listed schools. This settlement will require automatic discharge of student loans for approximately 200,000 borrowers and amount to $6 billion. Under the Higher Education Act of 1965, the Department oversees federal student loan programs, but nowhere in the law’s text does it refer to Borrower Defense to Repayment group or class action-type claims.
“The Department’s position in Sweet v. Cardona is very concerning and raises questions about whether it was improperly influenced by political considerations and conflicts of interest. Given the Supreme Court is likely to declare unlawful the Biden administration’s student debt transfer scheme to discharge up to $20,000 of loans for most borrowers, the Department appears to be seeking legally dubious alternative avenues to make good on President Biden’s campaign promise to cancel federal student debt, continued Chairs Comer and Foxx. “Further, we are concerned about the potential coordination between the Department and plaintiffs in Sweet v. Cardona to engineer a mutually desired outcome at the expense of taxpayers and institutions of higher education. Courts should endeavor to resolve actual controversies between truly adversarial parties, rather than serve as unwitting tools to advance a political agenda. Yet, close analysis of the parties in Sweet v. Cardona reinforces our concerns that the Biden administration is hijacking the court system to enact a radical student loan cancellation agenda.”
Read the letter to Secretary Cardona here.