The Senate voted yesterday to scrap President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, which might have been a burden on taxpayers versus students.
Student Loan Debt Program Scrapped…For Now
The Senate voted Thursday to scrap President Biden’s proposal to forgive more than $400 billion in student loan debt, a vote that is expected to force Biden to issue his fifth presidential veto since taking office.
The 52-46 vote to pass the legislation comes a day after senators took a similarly close vote to proceed to the measure, which would repeal Biden’s debt relief program and end the administration’s pause on federal student loan payments.
A few moderate senators, Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana and independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, voted with Republicans on the final passage vote as well as the motion to take up the measure.
White House Says Biden Will Veto The Bill
The White House has made it clear Mr. Biden plans to veto the bill, increasing the likelihood the fate of the program is decided in the courts.
“This resolution is an unprecedented attempt to undercut our historic economic recovery and would deprive more than 40 million hard-working Americans of much-needed student debt relief,” a White House statement said.
The resolution would repeal the administration’s program to cancel up to $10,000 in loans for borrowers whose income falls below certain levels and up to $20,000 for those who received Pell Grants. The resolution would also end a pandemic-era pause on loan payments and interest accrual.
Republicans have stood firmly against the student loan forgiveness program since Mr. Biden announced in August the federal government would cancel up to $20,000 worth of federal student loans per borrower.
The biggest test for Biden’s student loan relief plan, however, could still be ahead. The U.S. Supreme Court, with its conservative majority, is expected to rule on two cases on Biden’s debt relief plan this month.
Debt Forgiveness Could Burden Taxpayers
Republicans have argued that the Biden administration’s student debt forgiveness program burdens taxpayers and is unfair to those who paid off loans they borrowed or those who did not attend college.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that repealing the program would decrease the federal deficit by about $315 billion in the next decade.
“It’s something of a slap in the face to Americans who chose more affordable college options or worked their way through school to avoid taking on student loans, or whose parents scrimped and saved to put them through college,” Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said on the Senate floor before the vote about Biden’s plan.
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