(The Center Square) – The U.S. Senate voted 52-46 Thursday to overturn President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness executive order.
Biden’s order would cancel up to $10,000 for qualifying borrowers, and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients. Biden ordered the debt cancellation via the Department of Education last year, but it is now under review from the U.S. Supreme Court after a legal challenge.
The Congressional Joint Resolution of Disapproval passed Thursday and received Democratic support from Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana, as well as Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who now identifies as Independent. Two other Democrats, Sens. Mark Warner of Virginia and Michael Bennet of Colorado, did not vote.
Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Md., introduced the bill in the Senate that passed Thursday. He touted the legislation, saying “87% of Americans didn’t take out student loans or responsibly paid them back.”
Critics of Biden’s plan argue it is unfair to those who worked to pay off their loans or who never took them out in the first place. They also argue it taxes poorer Americans who could not afford to go to college in order to subsidize the choices of other Americans, often wealthier people who now have more earning potential because of their degree.
“These schemes are unfair and irresponsible,” Cassidy added.
The legislation passed under the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to undo recently passed executive actions. Biden, however, can veto this legislation.
The bill first passed in the House after it was introduced by U.S. Rep. Bob Good, R-Va. The U.S. Congressional Budget Office estimated the provision would cost taxpayers about $400 billion.
“President Biden’s student loan transfer scheme shifts hundreds of billions of dollars of payments from student loan borrowers onto the backs of the American people,” Good told The Center Square. “I am proud to lead the fight against President Biden’s reckless, unilateral, and unauthorized action that would unfairly penalize those who worked hard to pay off their loans or who never took them out in the first place.”
That spending has become the center of much controversy as inflation rises and the federal debt that fuels it continues to soar.
As The Center Square previously reported, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget Senior Vice President and Senior Policy Director Marc Goldwein in March testified before Congress about runaway federal spending and the national debt, which is on its way to $32 trillion this year.
“Unfortunately, the Administration’s policies have contributed to this inflation and cancellation could further exacerbate inflationary pressures if allowed by the Supreme Court to go forward,” Goldwein testified before the House Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development. “This in turn puts more pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, which disrupts the financial, housing, and labor markets and risks pushing the economy into a recession.”