Federal officials say nearly 5,000 student loan borrowers in West Virginia will have their debt forgiven under President Joe Biden’s latest plan to wipe out student loan debt. However, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va, believes the administration’s latest plan will once again end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Capito, speaking last week during her final press briefing before the U.S. Senate’s summer recess, said Congress has not authorized or funded any such student loan borrower forgiveness plan.

The Supreme Court ruled earlier this summer that Biden’s original plan to cancel student loan debt for millions of borrowers was unconstitutional. But Biden quickly announced additional proposals, including a plan to forgive debt under the authority of the Higher Education Act of 1965. The administration also said earlier this month that nearly 5,000 student loan borrowers in West Virginia will see more than $195 million in student loan debt wiped out in the coming weeks through an income-driven repayment forgiveness plan.

But Capito said Biden’s latest move will end up back before the Supreme Court with the same result. She said it also isn’t fair to those who have already paid off their student loan debts.

“Well I think this president’s student loan forgiveness plan is misguided,” Capito said. “We know some people have enormous student loans, but we also know people who have paid them off, who have worked hard through high school or worked hard for scholarships, all kinds of ways, or didn’t even go. And should we put the burden of people who can’t pay their debts off on the people who did? I don’t think that is fair.”

Capito said Biden keeps looking for new ways to enact a plan that the Supreme Court has already rejected.

“I expect this to go to the Supreme Court and I expect the Supreme Court to have the same reaction,” she said. “The reaction basically is if you are going to use money this way, Congress is the one who appropriates the money. Congress makes that decision.”

Capito said she believes Americans are on the side of fairness, and understand that when people have an obligation like a debt, they are expected to pay off their debt.

The veteran West Virginia lawmaker also was asked about the health of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. She was at last week’s meeting with McConnell where he stopped his remarks mid-sentence, stared off into space for several seconds and appeared to lose his train of thought.

Capito said she was standing very close to McConnell, and he just froze.

“You could tell where I was standing he was having some difficulty,” she said. “Very concerning.”

However, after a short break, Capito said McConnell returned and appeared normal.

“Then he returned and amazingly answered all questions straight on,” she said. “Senator McConnell is a strong leader. I have personal concerns for him, of course. This is not an everyday occurrence. But I’m glad he recovered. He says he is just fine, and I need to take his word for it.”

Capito also was asked about the ongoing crisis at the border, which remains open to migrants.

“The numbers of illegal immigrants coming across the borer has gone down, but it is still very, very high and that is what we need to keep in mind,” she said. “Over a hundred thousand every month. Many of these are trafficked children. Many of them are bringing drugs with them or diverting resources away from the drug traffickers toward them as they illegally enter this country. So this is still an enormous problem. The administration has put in some measures that has cut the numbers down a little bit, but I think it is still way, way too high.”

Capito said the open southern border represents a “security issue,” a “fentanyl trafficking issue” and a “human trafficking issue” that is being ignored by the Biden administration.

“The administration has set by and idly let this occur,” she said. “That is one of the issues we must come back to in September.”

The U.S. Senate is now in summer recess until September. During that time, Capito said she will be meeting with and visiting constituents back home in West Virginia to learn of their concerns and wishes.

Capito, ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee also voted last week to pass the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024, a measure that she said provides funding for American troops, energy independence, and national security. It also included the Accelerating Deployment of Versatile, Advanced Nuclear for Clean Energy (ADVANCE) Act, which Capito led introduction of in March. The ADVANCE Act promotes strategic investments in nuclear energy technology.