Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, admonished Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. Tuesday, suggesting she would violate the Constitution if, as president, she tried implementing her student loan forgiveness program without the approval of Congress.
"Which clause of the Constitution gives a President the authority to give away a trillion $ w/o Congress?" he tweeted on Tuesday.
"And if you like this policy, how would you feel if/when a GOP president does it for something you don’t like? Here’s a better idea: follow the Const & don’t be a dictator."
On Tuesday, Warren argued that "we can't afford to wait for Congress to act."
"... I will start to use existing laws on day one of my presidency to implement my student loan debt cancellation plan that offers relief to 42 million Americans -- in addition to using all available tools to address racial disparities in higher education, crack down on for-profit institutions, and eliminate predatory lending," she said.
Americans face more than $1.5 trillion in student loan debt – and the issue hits hard in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states to hold Democratic nominating contests.
Warren claimed that the Department of Education "already has broad legal authority to cancel student debt."
The populist White House contender had previously called for canceling up to $50,000 in student loan debt for each of the roughly 42 million federal borrowers, but until Tuesday had not outlined specific steps she would take and the timing of those actions.
This past July, Warren earlier introduced a student loan debt bill in Congress with Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C.
Fox News' Paul Steinhauser and Tara Prindiville contributed to this report.