The Senate on Wednesday rejected a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overturn the Biden administration’s new income-driven repayment plan, the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan.
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), along with 14 other Senate Republicans, introduced the CRA resolution back in September.
“Just like Biden’s original student debt cancellation scheme, this IDR rule does not ‘forgive’ debt,” Cassidy said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “It transfers the burden of $559 billion in federal student loans to the 87 percent of Americans who don’t have student loans, who chose not to go to college, or already responsibly paid off their debts.”
The measure was rejected by a vote of 49-50. Since the measure was considered as a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution, the Senate only needed a simple majority to clear it, but the chamber was unable to clear that threshold. Even if it had passed, the White House earlier this week issued a statement saying it would veto the measure. In that case, Congress would need to pass the resolution with a two-thirds majority to override the presidential veto.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), chairman of the Senate HELP Committee, urged his colleagues to reject the resolution and said that more needs to be done to address student loan debt.
During floor remarks before the vote, Sanders detailed the benefits of the SAVE plan and how it has benefited working-class and lower-income young people. He went on to urge the Biden administration to pursue programs that would make all public colleges and universities tuition-free and to cancel all student loan debt.
The SAVE plan, which was unveiled earlier this summer, is a rebranding and overhaul of the existing REPAYE plan. While the plan goes fully into effect on July 1, 2024, parts of it have been implemented early, including higher income protection, elimination of negative amortization, and exclusion of spousal income, among other things. According to ED more than 5.5 million borrowers are now enrolled in the program, with 2.9 million qualifying for $0 monthly payments.
Publication Date: 11/16/2023