Senate votes to cancel Biden’s student loan relief package

The Senate voted largely along party lines Thursday on legislation to block President Joe Biden’s student debt relief package after the measure removed a key procedural hurdle in the chamber.

The 52-46 vote to pass the legislation comes a day after senators voted similarly to pass the measure, which would repeal Biden’s debt relief package and end the government’s hiatus. Administration on Federal Student Loan Repayments. A few moderate senators — Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana and Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona — voted with Republicans on the final vote as well as on the motion to pass the measure.

A simple majority of senators was needed to pass the legislation and send it to Biden’s office. But the White House warned last month in an administrative policy statement that Biden would veto the resolution.

Borrowers and student loan advocates rally for the People's Rally to Cancel Student Debt during the Supreme Court hearings on student debt relief (Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Borrowers and student loan advocates rally for the People’s Rally to Cancel Student Debt during the Supreme Court hearings on student debt relief (Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

“This resolution is an unprecedented attempt to undermine our historic economic recovery and would deny more than 40 million hard-working Americans much-needed student debt relief,” the statement said.

The House passed the measure last week in a vote of 218 to 203, largely along party lines, with two Democrats – Representatives Jared Golden of Maine and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez of Washington – joining the Republicans to support the measurement.

The resolution would repeal the administration’s program to forgive up to $10,000 in loans for borrowers whose income falls below certain levels and up to $20,000 for those who received Pell Grants. The resolution would also end a pandemic-era pause on loan repayments and accrued interest.

The biggest test for Biden’s student loan relief plan, however, may yet be ahead. The U.S. Supreme Court, with its conservative majority, is expected to rule on two cases involving Biden’s debt relief plan this month.

Debt ceiling legislation brokered by Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., which passed the House on Wednesday and is heading to the Senate, would resume payments on federal student loans that have been interrupted at the start of the pandemic. Payments would resume at the end of August if the debt bill is signed into law. But the debt legislation would not block Biden’s debt cancellation plan, despite GOP-led attempts to include a provision to do so.

Republicans have argued that the Biden administration’s student debt forgiveness program burdens taxpayers and is unfair to those who have repaid the loans they took or those who did not attend college. . The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that repealing the program would reduce the federal deficit by about $315 billion over the next decade.

The Biden administration, on the other hand, argued in a statement that the cost of higher education has become a “lifetime burden” for low- and middle-income Americans, and so debt relief would give borrowers a “breathing room” after the pandemic and accompanying economic crisis have passed.

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