Senate passes GOP bill reversing student loan forgiveness, preparing it for Biden’s veto

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican measure reversing President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan passed the Senate on Thursday and is now awaiting a long-awaited veto.

The vote was 52 to 46, supported by Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana as well as Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, an independent. The resolution was approved last week by the GOP-controlled House by a vote of 218 to 203.

Biden has pledged to maintain his pledge to forgive up to $20,000 in federal student loans for 43 million people. The legislation adds to Republican criticism of the plan, which was halted in November in response to lawsuits from conservative opponents.

The Supreme Court heard arguments in February in a challenge to Biden’s decision, with the conservative majority appearing set to sink the plan. A decision is expected in the coming weeks.

“The President’s student loan programs don’t ‘forgive’ debt, they only shift the burden from those who have chosen to take out loans onto those who have never gone to college or have already fulfilled their commitment. repay their loans,” said Louisiana Senator Bill. Cassidy, lead sponsor of the Senate campaign.

The legislation seeks to revoke Biden’s cancellation plan and restrict the Department of Education’s ability to cancel student loans in the future. It would undo Biden’s latest extension of a payment break that began at the start of the pandemic. This would retroactively add several months of interest on student loans that were canceled by Biden’s extension.

It would also reduce months of progress made by borrowers towards loan forgiveness through the Civil Service Loan Forgiveness Scheme. Those who have recently had their debt canceled through the program would have their loans reinstated.

The GOP challenge invoked the Congressional Overhaul Act, which allows Congress to override recently enacted executive branch regulations. Passing a resolution requires a simple majority in both houses, but overriding a presidential veto requires a two-thirds majority in both the House and the Senate, and Republicans are unlikely to have enough support for the TO DO.

“If Republicans were successful and passed this bill, people across the country would be snatched away from the relief they are counting on,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.

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