By Maria Carrasco, NASFAA Staff Reporter
A group of Senate Republicans on Monday introduced legislation that would overturn President Joe Biden’s student debt cancellation plan and end the pause on federal student loan payments.
Earlier this month, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee, announced that he and Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) would be introducing a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would overturn the Department of Education’s (ED) ability to offer up to $20,000 in relief to federal student loan borrowers. Cassidy’s earlier announcement did not mention that the resolution would also end the pause on federal student loan payments.
“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,” Cassidy said in a statement on Monday. “It is extremely unfair to punish these Americans, forcing them to pay the bill for these irresponsible and unfair student loan schemes.”
This legislation comes after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) confirmed that Biden’s student loan debt cancellation plan can be subject to a CRA. The CRA has been utilized previously by Congress to overturn agency rules and only requires a simple majority in each chamber.
In the announcement, Cassidy noted that the legislation has 38 total cosponsors, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. At least 30 senators are needed to force a vote, according to the Congressional Research Service, and for the CRA to take effect, the legislation would need to be signed by Biden or garner enough support to overturn a presidential veto.
Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) introduced the companion CRA resolution in the House. The companion legislation has over 40 cosponsors, including Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
“President Biden’s so-called student loan forgiveness programs do not make the debt go away, but merely transfer the costs from student loan borrowers onto taxpayers to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars,” Good said in a statement. “Congress should stop these unilateral actions, and I am proud to lead the fight in the House to hold President Biden accountable for his reckless, unfair, and unlawful student loan proposal. I hope all my colleagues will join me and support this effort.”
Publication Date: 3/28/2023
Nikki M | 3/28/2023 4:31:15 PM
What about the families who lost their spouse due to Covid and now does not have the 2nd income coming in. We parents took out Plus loans for our students and now are struggling to make a mortgage payment. It's not just the students suffering it the parents as well.
David S | 3/28/2023 11:21:38 AM
“It is extremely unfair to punish these Americans, forcing them to pay the bill for these irresponsible and unfair student loan schemes" can be used as an argument against any publicly funded form of financial aid. It's the same spirit invoked by the former Secretary of Education when she said during her farewell FSA Conference, "The 2/3 of Americans who don't go to college shouldn't have to pay for the 1/3 who do."
Plan your advocacy efforts accordingly. It's going to be a more uphill battle moving forward.
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