Tampa attorney discusses federal judge's decision to block Biden's loan forgiveness program
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TAMPA, Fla. — A federal judge in Texas struck down President Joe Biden's plan to erase federal student loans from millions of borrowers.
U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, explained his decision in a 26-page document. He called the program "an unconstitutional exercise of Congress's legislative power and must be vacated."
A Tampa attorney, Rinky Parwani, explains the decision.
"U.S. District Judge in the federal court, Mark Pittman, he made a decision that basically said Biden's proposal to cancel student loan debt is unconstitutional and why that is goes back to the basics of what we learned in school which is there is a separation of powers and state that executive, legislative and judicial branch don’t all make the decisions in a funnel. They each have to work together to make big decisions like this," said Parwani.
Judge Pittman rejected the Biden administration's argument that it has the authority to cancel student loans under a 2003 law known as the HEROES Act. The law grants special powers to the education department during national emergencies.
"As Judge Pittman stated, the executive action of the pen is not going to solve this. This needs to be an act of Congress," said Parwani. "Judge Pittman's decision was very well written. It just kind of goes back to the basics of separation of powers and state."
The White House confirmed that it has already appealed the judge's decision. A White House spokesperson encouraged people to keep applying for the relief.
The decision now goes to a federal appeals court and could reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
"I think for students who are paying back loans or students who have finished college and are paying back student loans, this is a severe problem because the abatement on student loan programs ends on December 31st," said Parwani.
"For now, if I'm a student borrower, I wouldn't rely on it," she added.