By Owen Daugherty, NASFAA Staff Reporter
For months Republican lawmakers have been clamoring for the White House and Department of Education (ED) to resume monthly student loan payments that have been paused for more than two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, House Republicans have introduced legislation that would block ED’s legal authority to issue another extension of the payment pause.
The bill, unveiled last week by Reps. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and Bob Good (R-Va.), would effectively force payments to resume on May 2 after the most recent extension issued by the Biden Administration in December comes to an end.
While the legislation has virtually no chance of passing in the Democratic-controlled House, it underscores Republicans’ desire to move on from the pandemic and curb the executive authority being utilized as it relates to the coronavirus.
The legislation comes as the Biden administration is reportedly considering another extension of pause, as White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said recently that President Joe Biden “is going to look at what we should do on student debt before the pause expires, or he'll extend the pause."
The new bill would also permanently roll back ED’s ability to provide relief to borrowers during national emergencies under the HEROES Act, a 2003 law that has been cited to give the White House the authority to pause student loan payments as a method of relief. The legislation calls ED’s use of that law to continue the payment pause currently in place an “abuse” of its authority.
Publication Date: 3/15/2022