A group of Republican senators, including Utah Sens. Mike Lee and Mitt Romney, sponsored a resolution Monday calling for the suspension of President Joe Biden’s plan to cancel student loan debt for millions of Americans. 

In August last year, Biden announced he would cancel up to $20,000 in student loan debt for borrowers. Biden said he had authority to forgive the debt because of a law passed in the early 2000s to help military members with their loans during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Court challenges have delayed implementation of Biden’s plan.

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The Republican senators’ move to stop the debt cancelation comes in the wake of a Government Accountability Office decision that Biden’s plan should be classified as a rule, which makes it eligible to be overturned by a congressional resolution. 

Both Romney and Lee said Biden’s plan, estimated to cost $400 billion, isn’t really loan “forgiveness,” but rather would transfer the debt from borrowers to taxpayers. Romney also raised concerns about the potential for loan forgiveness to increase inflation.

In a statement to the Deseret News, Lee said Biden’s loan forgiveness plan was a political ploy.

“President Biden’s thinly veiled attempt to buy political support before the midterm election is government favoritism at its worst,” he said. “His plan doesn’t ‘cancel’ student debt; it sends a tuition bill to those who chose a different path. I’m proud to support this resolution which will block the president from picking winners and losers and buying votes at the expense of the American taxpayer.”

Romney said in a press release that it “makes no sense” to cancel “hundreds of billions of dollars in student loan debt.” 

“This decision would not only be unfair to those who already repaid their loans or decided to pursue alternative education paths, but it would be wildly inflationary at a time of already historic inflation,” he said.

Lee and Romney were among a large group of Republican senators to sign on to the resolution, which was spearheaded by Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy. Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch also signed on. A similar resolution was introduced in the House by Virginia Republican Rep. Bob Good. 

The resolution would also end the pause in student loan repayments, which was initiated in 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Romney said the “pause” will end up costing taxpayers $195 billion by the time it’s set to expire in August. 

The Supreme Court is reviewing Biden’s student loan cancelation plan after challenges by states and individuals were upheld by lower courts.

Some of the justices on the court seemed inclined to agree with arguments against Biden’s plan at a Feb. 28 hearing, according to the Associated Press. During his questioning of Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar, Chief Justice John Roberts said given the program’s expense and impact it should have been approved by Congress.