the house of representatives passed a bill on Wednesday it was aimed at blocking President Joe Biden’s student debt forgiveness plan and ending the pause on payments and interest on federal student loans.
The Republican-sponsored bill passed by a vote of 218-203 with two Democrats joining the Republican majority in favor of the resolution. It’s unclear if the bill will pass the Democratic-controlled Senate, but if it does, the White House has already promised to veto it.
“This resolution is an unprecedented attempt to undermine our historic economic recovery and would deprive more than 40 million hard-working Americans of much-needed student debt relief,” the Office of Management and Budget said. said in a statement.
The resolution follows a Republican-led proposal last month that would have raised the debt ceiling, but it blocked Biden’s student debt relief plan and income-based pay changes.
Currently, Biden’s plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student debt per borrower earning less than $125,000 a year is up to the Supreme Court. The court is expected to rule at the end of June.
This is where things currently are.
The payment pause will end this summer
Despite some hopes that the The pause on student loan payments may be extended again if the Supreme Court strikes down debt forgiveness, the Biden administration has said the pause will end this summer.
“We are committed to making sure that once a decision is made, we are going to resume payments 60 days later,” said Education Secretary Miguel Cardona. confirmed last week at a Senate Appropriations hearing. “But no later than June 30, we’re going to start that process.”
House Republicans are also not the first to call for an end to the pay pause. In March, SoFi Bank filed a lawsuit trying to force the federal government to resume collecting payments immediately, calling the most recent extension of the “illegal for multiple reasons” pause.
26 million borrowers have applied for debt forgiveness
In the brief period last fall when borrowers could apply for Biden’s loan forgiveness program, 26 million people requested to see their balances reduced by up to $10,000 (up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients).
The Biden administration approved the forgiveness of 16 million borrowers before being required to stop processing applications while legal challenges unfold.
While Biden’s student debt forgiveness plan has been a partisan issue since its announcement, it has now become especially polarizing as parties discuss government spending.
“To the more than 40 million eligible student borrowers who are anxiously awaiting the fate of their debt relief, I urge you… to see which Republican lawmakers brazenly vote against debt relief after having their debts forgiven.” own loans,” the White House said. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a press conference Wednesday.
Opponents of the forgiveness plan cite injustice to non-borrowers and those who have repaid their loans. They claim that Biden does not have the authority to cancel the debt without congressional approval.
“President Biden’s student loan rollover scheme shifts hundreds of billions of dollars in payments from student loan borrowers onto the backs of the American people,” said Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., who introduced the resolution in March. in a sentence.
Nearly half of Americans approve of Biden’s pardon plan
As of mid-April, about 47% of Americans support Biden’s student debt forgiveness plan in its current form. according to a USA Today/Ipsos poll. Among those currently with student debt, 83% approve of Biden’s plan, while 3 in 4 Americans without loans also support relief, the poll found.
However, optimism is not as strong, at least among young adults. More than two-thirds, 67%, say they don’t think Biden’s debt cancellation will come to fruition, according to a recent Scholarship Owl survey of more than 11,000 college and high school students.
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