Senate Republicans position for second smackdown of Biden’s student loan plan
Senate Republicans are again pushing back on President Biden’s efforts at student loan forgiveness.
Biden announced an alternative plan for a student loan handout in late June after the Supreme Court blocked his initial plan that would have forgiven up to $20,000 for some federal borrowers.
“Once again, Biden’s newest student loan scheme only shifts the burden from those who chose to take out loans to those who decided not to go to college, paid their way, or already responsibly paid off their loans,” said Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., the top Republican on the Senate Committee for Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP).
Cassidy, along with the Senate Minority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, introduced a measure on Tuesday aimed at repealing the latest plan.
Lawmakers in both chambers voted to override Biden’s initial student loan plan earlier this year, before the Supreme Court struck it down. The president vetoed that legislation, known as a Congressional Review Act (CRA), though a handful of Democrats in the House and Senate voted with Republicans to stymie Biden’s plans.
The latest CRA against Biden’s new student loan plan is backed by at least a dozen Republican senators and already has a companion bill in the GOP-led House.
It’s not immediately clear, however, if Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., will bring their CRA to the floor for a vote. Schumer allowed a vote on the initial measure, despite being a vocal supporter of student loan forgiveness efforts.
But Republicans and even some Democrats have decried both of Biden’s plans as a “handout” that does little to fix the underlying problem of skyrocketing university costs.
“Instead of creating a real plan to lower the costs of higher education, President Biden continues to propose budget-busting student loan bailouts that would force 87% of Americans who do not have student loan debt to bear the costs of the 13% of Americans who do,” Thune said Tuesday.
Just hours after the Supreme Court struck down his marquee student loan plan, arguing Biden overstepped his authority invoking the 2003 HEROES Act to forgive debts, the president announced he would instead lean on 1965’s Higher Education Act, which allows the Education Secretary to waive or otherwise make changes to student loan debt.
Biden said the backup plan was “legally sound” when announcing it, though he conceded “it’s going to take longer” due to the accompanying regulatory process.