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Republican Lawmakers Challenge Biden's $147 Billion Student Debt Cancellation Plan

Republican Lawmakers Challenge Biden's $147 Billion Student Debt Cancellation Plan

May 22, 2024

Republican Lawmakers Challenge Biden's $147 Billion Student Debt Cancellation Plan

A significant number of Republican congress members are calling for the Biden administration to abandon its latest federal student loan debt cancellation plan. This group, comprised of 130 Republicans, deems the $147 billion "Plan B" both excessively costly and discriminatory against Americans who either did not take out student loans or have already settled their debts.

The debt forgiveness proposal was devised following a U.S. Supreme Court decision last summer that President Joe Biden exceeded his authority with an initial $430 billion relief plan during COVID.

On April 17, the Biden administration introduced new regulations aimed at cancelling debt for 28 million borrowers who fall within five specific categories, including those whose debt has ballooned due to interest accumulation and borrowers who have been making repayments for over two decades.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, around 26 million borrowers could either have their interest accrual eliminated or up to $20,000 of interest canceled under Plan B. Republicans criticize the plan as an unconstitutional effort to transfer the financial burden to taxpayers and accuse it of being a ploy to garner votes.

In a May 17 letter to the U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Republicans, led by House Education Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx and Senate Education Committee ranking member Bill Cassidy, highlighted the plan's heavy cost and questioned its legality, given the Supreme Court's previous ruling.

The Biden administration's plan does not invoke presidential emergency powers but is based on the Education Department's authority under the Higher Education Act of 1965. This act allows the secretary to manage various aspects of federal student loans.

Responding to the opposition, Secretary Cardona remains "unapologetic" about the intent to provide widespread relief to borrowers. A spokesperson for the Education Department stated that all public comments, including the congressional letter, would be reviewed and addressed in the final rule.

The Epoch Times Article


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