EXCLUSIVE: Legal Group Sues Education Department For Withholding Records On Student Loan Debt Forgiveness

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

James Lynch Contributor
Font Size:

The Functional Government Initiative (FGI), a watchdog legal organization, is filing a lawsuit against the Department of Education (ED) for failing to release records regarding student loan forgiveness and the student debt payment moratorium.

FGI filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in August 2022 for records from the ED to see whether political considerations were taken into account when the Biden administration released its plan to forgive student loan debt. (RELATED: Supreme Court May Crush Biden’s Student Loan Bailout Dreams)

The ED initially responded to the FOIA request and acknowledged they received it, and since then the department has delayed the request, FGI says in its lawsuit.

“While the courts are reviewing the legal concerns, FGI is focused on introducing transparency to what many believe was a politically driven decision months before the midterms and a handout to the administration’s most ardent special interest allies,” FGI spokesman Pete McGinnis said. The group is led by Christopher Stanley, a former Trump official and longtime Congressional staffer.


FGI Complaint by James Lynch on Scribd

President Biden announced in August a plan to forgive up to $20,000 in debt for Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 for ordinary borrowers. The Congressional Budget Office found that Biden’s plan would cost more than $400 billion.

One poll taken after the midterms showed 77% of young voters (ages 18-29) said student debt relief was a motivating factor in their vote in the 2022 midterms. An estimated 27% of young voters turned out for the midterms, the second-highest turnout total in the past 30 years.

Biden’s plan relied on the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act to give the ED authority to forgive student debt. A Texas judge blocked the student debt forgiveness in 2022 and the Supreme Court has taken up the case.