Republican lawmakers in both chambers of Congress have kicked off an effort to overturn the Biden administration’s student loan cancellation via Congressional authority.
The move comes after the Government Accountability Office said that the student loan rule fell within Congress’ authority to overturn under the Congressional Review Act, a law that allows lawmakers to revoke executive rules soon after they are enacted. To that end, Rep. Bob Good, R-Va, and Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La, announced Monday they are leading a Joint Resolution of Disapproval, the first step for Congress to overturn Biden’s student loan forgiveness.
“President Biden’s so-called student loan forgiveness programs do not make the debt go away, but merely transfer the costs from student loan borrowers onto taxpayers to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars,” Good said.
Last August, Biden said that his administration would “forgive” $10,000 in federal student loan debt for those making less than $125,000 per year or $250,000 for married couples. Those who borrowed money before July 1 can qualify.
The debt cancellation would total $20,000 for Pell Grant awardees. The U.S. Congressional Budget Office said that the plan would cost taxpayers about $400 billion, though other estimates are higher.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard a legal challenge to Biden’s loan cancellation. They are expected to rule in the coming weeks. For now, the program is on hold.
“President Biden is not forgiving debt, he is shifting the burden of student loans off of the borrowers who willingly took on their debt and placing it onto those who chose to not go to college or already fulfilled their commitment to pay off their loans,” Cassidy said. “It is extremely unfair to punish these Americans, forcing them to pay the bill for these irresponsible and unfair student loan schemes.”
The measure has 39 cosponsors so far and support from several groups, including the National Taxpayers Union, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Heritage Action, and America First Policy Institute. The resolution, though, needs Biden’s signature or a majority large enough to override a veto.
“This resolution will dissuade the executive branch from other expansions of its authority, prevent the transfer of billions in debt payments to all taxpayers, and prevent this authority from being spuriously activated in the future,” said Nicholas Johns, Policy and Government Affairs manager of National Taxpayers Union.