A one-off for the Biden administration Student Loan Forgiveness Program It is facing new threats from House Republicans as it awaits a Supreme Court ruling on whether the proposal can take effect.
The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to solve Seeks to block forgiveness programs and end the pandemic-related suspension of federal student loan payments.
Two Democrats, Rep. Jared Golden of Maine and Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez of Washington, voted alongside Republicans for the bill.
The proposed forgiveness program, which promised up to $20,000 in federal student debt relief to millions of low- and moderate-income borrowers, was halted by a lower court late last year before any student debt could be canceled. The moratorium on payments has been in place since March 2020 and will end later this year.
President Joe Biden has pledged Veto Republican-led resolution If it passes both the House and Senate. The administration said the resolution would “cripple America’s middle class.”
“The president’s plan is good. It’s a popular one. It will help prevent borrowers from defaulting on loans this summer when they start making payments again,” White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre said earlier Wednesday.
But Republicans have argued that the student loan forgiveness program is illegal and shifts the cost of debt onto taxpayers who choose not to go to college or have paid off their student loans.Blocking the program could reduce the deficit by nearly $320 billion, according to the agency congressional budget office.
“President Biden’s so-called student loan forgiveness program doesn’t make the debt disappear, it just shifts the cost from student loan borrowers to taxpayers, in the hundreds of billions of dollars,” said Rep. Bob Goode, R-Va. , in a statement issued by when he introduced the resolution March.
Although Biden has pledged to veto the bill, votes in both houses of Congress could force more moderate Democratic members to take a public stand on the student loan forgiveness program. Some lawmakers have criticized the proposal in the past.
The Senate has not yet scheduled a vote on the resolution, but nearly all 49 Republican senators have voted on it. Sign up as a sponsor.
Republican lawmakers propose their joint resolution end of marchusing the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to withdraw regulations from the executive branch without the 60-vote threshold necessary to clear most legislation in the Senate.
Individual borrowers earning less than $125,000 in 2020 or 2021, and married couples or heads of household earning less than $250,000 in 2020 or 2021 could forgive up to $10,000 of their federal student loan debt if the student loan forgiveness program is allowed to move forward.
If an eligible borrower also receives a federal Per Grant Individuals are eligible for up to $20,000 in debt forgiveness while enrolled in college.
While debt relief can help borrowers access student loans now, the program won’t change future college costs — some critics say it might even lead to an increase in tuition.
in February, Supreme Court hears two legal challenges to Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan. One was filed by six Republican-led states and the other was filed by two student loan borrowers who did not qualify for the program’s full benefits. The men are backed by the conservative group Job Creators Network Foundation.
The lawsuits argue that the Biden administration has abused its power and used the Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse to fulfill the president’s campaign promise to cancel student debt.
The White House said it had received 26 million applications, 16 million of which had been granted relief, before a lower Texas court blocked the program nationwide in November.
No debt has been cancelled. But if the Supreme Court allows the plan to go into effect, the government could move quickly to forgive those debts.
If a judge strikes down Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, the administration could make some changes to the policy and try again — though the process could take months.
The Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling in late June or early July.
Biden has repeatedly extended the moratorium on federal student loan payments. Accounts have been frozen, and most federal borrowers have not been asked to repay in more than three years.
but the pause is will end later this year. The Biden administration has linked the reopening date to lawsuits over a separate student loan forgiveness program. Payments will resume 60 days after the Supreme Court issues its decision or 60 days after June 30, whichever comes first.
But the Biden administration has also made some lesser-known but likely longer-lasting changes to the federal student loan system.
New rules set to take effect in July could expand eligibility Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, designed to help government and nonprofit workers. A new income-driven repayment plan proposal aims to lower monthly payments for eligible borrowers and reduce their repayments over time. Parts of the new repayment plan are expected to take effect later this year.
The Ministry of Education is also making it easier for borrowers Misled by their for-profit colleges Apply for student loan forgiveness under a program called Defense of Borrower Repayment, as well as those who are permanently disabled.
All told, the Biden administration has approved more than $66 billion in targeted loan forgiveness to nearly 2.2 million borrowers.
This headline and story have been updated with more information.