Khanna: I Think Biden ‘May Have Been Deliberating Whether It Was Good Policy’ when He Said He Didn’t Have Unilateral Loan Authority

On Friday’s broadcast of “CNN Primetime,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) responded to previous arguments from President Joe Biden and then-House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) that the President can’t unilaterally transfer student loan debt by stating that the HEROES Act gives the President the authority to do so, and he thinks President Biden “may have been deliberating whether it was good policy.”

After playing clips of Biden saying that he can’t transfer $50,000 in debt because “I don’t think I have the authority to do it by signing a pen” and Pelosi stating that “People think that the President of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness. He does not.” Host Kaitlan Collins asked, “Is that not what the Supreme Court was arguing today, that it was a vast overreach?”

Khanna answered, “Well, when you look at the actual statute, the HEROES Act, the HEROES Act was very, very clear. It said, under emergency conditions, the secretary has the authority, the President has the authority, to take these kind of actions. Now, if Congress had wanted to limit the HEROES Act, they could have. Congress didn’t act. This is the Supreme Court engaging in activism. I believe that the President may have been deliberating whether it was good policy. But legal scholar after legal scholar has interpreted the HEROES Act as saying you have that authority. The President — we’ve forgiven other student loans. We’ve forgiven student loans for public forgiveness. We’ve forgiven student loans when people have had bad universities. Why is it that, in this case, they wouldn’t have that authority?”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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