House votes to cancel Biden’s $400 billion student loan handout
The House voted on Wednesday to repeal the plan of President Biden to eliminate more than $400 billion federally-backed student loan debt.
A resolution was approved by lawmakers to disapprove of Biden’s plan for student loan forgiveness, which was announced last summer and is currently stalled due to an ongoing legal challenge. Supreme Court will likely consider legality of Biden plan this summer.
The lawmakers voted on Wednesday 218-203 to try and speed up the process, and stop Biden’s plans through legislation. The resolution was passed by all Republicans present, as well as two Democrats.
During the floor debate, Democrats claimed that voting against Biden’s loan forgiveness plan would harm roughly 13% Americans who may qualify.
Mark Takano (D-Calif.) said that Republicans were working to end the student loan forgiveness program, which began under Trump and continues now under Biden, for over 40 million borrowers.
He asked, “Why in the name of God would Republicans continue to divide America and punish America’s student population?” The Biden administration’s plan to reduce student debt is not a bailout. It is a lifeline. I urge my Republican colleagues to talk with borrowers within their districts about the issue.
Maxwell Frost, a Florida Democrat, argued the Republican opposition to Biden’s plan was based upon the argument that most Americans do not need loan repayment assistance. According to this logic, Black and women would have never been allowed to vote.
“Why are you using such a bigoted logic in this case?” he demanded. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) asked that these politically charged words be removed from the records.
Republicans argued that Biden does not have the legal authority to erase hundreds of billions in student debt.
“In fact he admitted it to CNN host Anderson Cooper by saying: ‘I do not think I have the power to sign with a pen'”, said Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), the sponsor of this resolution.
Foxx said that Biden’s plans only benefit the wealthy and go against progressive Democratic values.
She said that cancelling student loans is a regressive measure. Two-thirds would be transferred to the highest earners. It is a transfer of wealth from the lower to the higher half.
She said that the pause in loan repayments that was instituted when the COVID pandemic broke resulted de facto in the cancellation of $65,000 worth of loans for an average lawyer.
She said, “This is a bailout for the professional class.” “More precisely, it’s a bailout for professional-class, graduate-degree holders.”
Biden announced in the summer of last year that he would waive up to $10,000 worth of student loans from people earning less than $125,000 and up to $20,000. This was for students receiving Pell Grants. The program was estimated to cost the federal government $400 billion in debt repayment. However, it was put on hold by a court after a ruling was made.
Good’s Resolution was written in accordance with the Congressional Review Act. This allows Congress to reject an executive branch decision as long as the House and Senate both pass a resolution disapproving that policy. The House’s approval sends the resolution to the Senate where it is unlikely to be approved.
The White House announced this week that Biden’s veto would be applied if it was approved by the Senate.