“But never before has the government canceled this much student debt for this many people”

Spencer Bokat-Lindell:

After the 2020 presidential election, the Trump administration attempted to pre-empt the use of the Heroes Act for this purpose, issuing a memoclaiming that “Congress never intended the Heroes Act as authority for mass cancellation, compromise, discharge or forgiveness of student loan principal balances.”

In its own memo last week, however, the Biden administration argued that the Trump administration’s conclusions were “unsupported and incorrect.” The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which provides legal advice to the executive branch, concurred in a separate opinion, concluding that “reducing or canceling the principal balances of student loans, including for a broad class of borrowers who the secretary determines suffered financial harm because of Covid-19, could be a permissible response to the Covid-19 pandemic.”