216 Republicans vote to undo student loan relief for 43 million Americans
The House has passed a resolution that would cancel President Joe Biden’s student debt relief plan.
House Republicans on Wednesday passed a resolution that would cancel President Joe Biden’s student debt relief plan and stop as many as 43 million people from seeing loan forgiveness.
The resolution passed by a vote of 218 to 203, with two Democrats joining Republicans to vote in favor of canceling the Biden administration’s program.
The plan would forgive up to $20,000 in student debt for individuals earning less than $125,000 per year. The vast majority of people who qualify for student debt forgiveness (90%) earn less than $75,000 per year, according to the White House.
It’s unlikely the Senate would vote to nullify the debt plan, which Biden first announced in October 2022.
But even if it did, Biden has said he’d veto the resolution if it made it to his desk.
So far, about 26 million people have submitted applications for debt relief, according to the White House, 16 million of which were approved by the Department of Education.
However, six GOP-led states filed a lawsuit against the debt forgiveness program in November, and an appeals court blocked the program from taking effect. The program’s fate now rests with the Supreme Court, which heard arguments in the case in February and will release a decision before the current term ends in June.
Republicans have railed against the administration’s student loan forgiveness plan. They claim Biden overstepped his powers in creating the program and that the program is not fair to people who didn’t go to college.
“President Biden doesn’t have the authority to ‘forgive’ student loans,” tweeted Rep. Bob Good (R-VA), who authored the House resolution to cancel the program. “The catch with his free college agenda is that American taxpayers will be forced to pay off the debts of others. It’s time to overturn his scheme.”
The Biden administration says Republicans are hypocrites for accepting loan forgiveness themselves while trying to block it for middle-class Americans.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at Wednesday’s daily press briefing:
Will [Rep.] Marjorie Taylor Greene, who had $183,000 of her own business loans forgiven, vote to deny debt relief to the 92,000 student borrowers she represents? Will Rep. Vern Buchanan, who had over $2.3 million of business loans forgiven, vote to deny student debt relief for 95,000 of his own constituents? To the more than 40 million eligible student borrowers who are eagerly waiting to learn about the fate of their debt relief, I urge you to tune in to today’s vote to watch which Republican lawmakers shamelessly vote against debt relief for you after having their own loans forgiven.
Education groups also slammed Republicans for trying to cancel the debt relief program.
“The decision of Republican lawmakers to attempt to dismantle this vital plan is an affront to the principles of equity, fairness, and educational opportunity,” National Education Association President Becky Pringle said in a news release.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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