Biden Faces Another Challenge as GOP Senators Introduce Resolution to Cancel Student Debt Relief Plan

United States North America Higher Education News by Erudera News Apr 03, 2023


The Biden-⁠Harris Administration faces a new challenge as Senate Republicans have introduced a new resolution to overturn Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, expected to cost about $400 billion over the next 30 years.

Senators Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, John Cornyn of Texas, and Joni Ernst of Iowa, joined by 36 other Republican senators, have used the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to introduce the new resolution, which allows Congress to disapprove final regulations issued by federal agencies.

According to a press release by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, issued on Monday (March 27), the measure would also end the student loan payment pause, which started in early 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, reports.

The statement points out that the pause on student loan payments which Biden’s administration extended six times “far beyond the original pandemic justification,” costs taxpayers $5 billion monthly.

“President Biden is not forgiving debt, he is shifting the burden of student loans off of the borrowers who willingly took on their debt and placing it onto those who chose to not go to college or already fulfilled their commitment to pay off their loans,” Sen. Cassidy said.

Cassidy added that obliging Americans to pay the bill for such irresponsible student loan programs is unfair.

Maya MacGuineas, the President of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, applauded Senators’ efforts to block the costly program and described the Biden-Harris student loan forgiveness plan as a “poor solution” to serious challenges.

She said that instead of dealing with college costs and quality, which would lead to better outcomes, Biden’s higher education proposals would only lead to higher tuition fees and more borrowing.

“The $400 billion in debt cancellation would offer windfalls to higher earners while boosting inflation for Americans already struggling with high prices on everything from rent to groceries,” MacGuineas said.

President Biden announced his plan to cancel student loans in August last year, under which borrowers earning less than $125,000 a year would see up to $10,000 in federal student loans canceled, while those who are Pell Grant recipients would have up to $20,000 wiped out.

However, ever since, the program has faced multiple lawsuits from Republicans attempting to block the administration from moving ahead with its plans to forgive student loans.

On February 28, the highest court in the nation heard arguments in two of these legal challenges to the program where the conservative majority appeared skeptical over the plan’s legality. The fate of millions of borrowers now depends on the decision of the Supreme Court, which is expected to be made known in late June or early July.

According to the latest poll by the US magazine Newsweek, the student loan forgiveness plan has the approval of 62 percent of Americans; the majority were also supporters of Biden’s political campaign. Differently, the results showed that 18 percent of Americans don’t agree with implementing the plan.

>> US Education Secretary: We Know Student Loan Debt Relief Is Essential & We Are Fighting to Offer It

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