(UnitedVoice.com) – President Joe Biden made eliminating college debt a cornerstone of his political platform. Since he took office, he has made a number of changes that have helped people. In August 2022, the POTUS announced a sweeping program that would forgive either $10,000 or $20,000 worth of debt for millions of borrowers who met certain financial thresholds.
Although the program is currently on pause, lawmakers have decided to take steps to put their objections to it on the legislative record.
On May 24, House Republicans passed a resolution to overturn Biden’s student loan debt forgiveness plan. The president wanted to forgive $10,000 worth of student loan debt for any American who did not receive a Pell Grant and earns less than $125,000 per year or $250,000 annually for couples. Borrowers who received a Pell Grant and met those income requirements would receive double that amount.
The US Department of Education estimated the plan would cost American taxpayers $137.9 billion through 2032. However, economists at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania analyzed the policy. They estimated it would actually increase from about 33% of eligible borrowers to 75%, bringing the total to as much as $361 billion over 10 years.
Republicans used the Congressional Review Act to challenge and repeal the forgiveness program. The resolution passed the House 218-to-203, mostly along party lines. Democratic Reps. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (WA) and Jared Golden (ME) supported it.
The Senate took up the measure on June 1 and passed it 52-to-46. Democratic Senators Jon Tester (MT) and Joe Manchin (WV) voted in favor. Democrat-turned-Independent Senator Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) also voted to repeal the student loan forgiveness plan.
President Joe Biden is expected to veto the resolution, and neither chamber has the votes to overturn his veto.
Congress isn’t the only problem the Biden Administration has to contend with. The Supreme Court heard arguments against the policy in February. According to reporting, the justices appeared skeptical about the president’s plan. In the case of Biden v. Nebraska, a group of conservative states argued the administration exceeded its authority.
The Constitution gives Congress the power of the purse, meaning they are the only ones who can authorize spending. The move by lawmakers to overturn the policy could hold significant weight with the high court because it shows that Congress doesn’t support the president’s action. The administration’s attempt to circumvent lawmakers on Capitol Hill could come back to bite them.
The high court is expected to hand down a decision in the case soon.
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