Sen. Mitt Romney, other Republicans hope to overturn Biden’s latest student loan forgiveness program
Forgiving the student loans would cost the taxpayers $559 billion
Sen. Mitt Romney is leading an effort to overturn the Biden administration’s new loan repayment plan, which would forgive tens of billions in student debt.
Romney said the new program is “unfair” to borrowers who repaid their debt, and said it would increase inflation.
The Supreme Court struck down President Joe Biden’s earlier student loan forgiveness plan in a 6-3 decision in June. Loan repayments are set to resume in October after a three-year hiatus.
Romney and other Republican lawmakers introduced a Congressional Review Act resolution, a tool available to congressional lawmakers to overturn a federal agency rule, arguing that the new student loan program would repay the loans of a majority of bachelor's degree holders.
“I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this resolution to overturn the Biden administration’s latest attempt to cancel student loan debt,” Romney, a Republican, said, according to a press release.
“Not only is the administration’s latest move unfair to those who already repaid their loans or decided to pursue alternative education paths, but it would also increase inflation and contribute to our $32 trillion national debt,” he added.
According to a report from Penn Wharton Budget Model, Biden’s program would cost taxpayers $559 billion. The report said the plan will incentivize community college students to borrow without the expectation of paying their loans off, and said it will encourage those who can afford to pay for their college education to borrow.
Roughly 4 million individuals have already applied to the new repayment program.
Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., the ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said that the new rule “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.”
“Our resolution protects the 87% of Americans who don’t have student debt and will be forced to shoulder the burden of the president’s irresponsible and unfair policy,” he said.
Other Republicans, including Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming and Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho, are co-sponsoring the resolution.
The Savings Plan would require a borrower to earn more than $32,000, and a family of four to make more than $67,000, before they are expected to pay anything.
It also reduces payments from 10% to 5% of the borrower's income after expenses, while covering unpaid monthly interest payments on the loan, so it doesn’t grow. For borrowers who have made at least 10 years of payments, their balance will be forgiven, instead of having to pay for 20 years.
“At the start of this administration, millions of borrowers had earned loan forgiveness but never received it. That’s unacceptable,” said Department of Education Undersecretary James Kvaal. “Today we are holding up the bargain we offered borrowers who have completed decades of repayment.”
This is the second time Republicans have tried using the Congressional Review Act to overturn a Biden student loan program. The first time the resolution to overturn Biden’s plans to forgive more than $400 billion in student debt was approved, but the president vetoed it.
“Let me make something really clear: I’m never going to apologize for helping working and middle-class Americans as they recover from this pandemic, never,” Biden said at the time.