A bill has been introduced in the Senate that would prohibit President Biden from canceling outstanding federal student loan obligations due to a national emergency while also ending the current moratorium on federal student loan payments.
The bill, S.4094, the Stop Reckless Student Loan Actions Act, was introduced by Sen. Bill Cassidy [R-La.], Sen. John Thune [R-S.D.], Sen. Richard Burr [R-N.C.], Sen. Mike Braun [R-Ind.], and Sen. Roger Marshall [R-Kans.].
“If the administration wants to follow the science regarding COVID, we must also follow the facts,” said Dr. Cassidy, in a statement. “Unemployment is not at pandemic levels and a student loan repayment pause benefits those who are high income and able to pay their bills. The administration is spending without congressional approval. That should be considered unconstitutional.”
The pause on federal student loan payments is “disproportionally” benefitting high-earning borrowers, the Senators allege. Individuals who hold bachelor’s degrees, for example, carry 70% of the eduction debt, but have an unemployment rate of only 2.2%. The net worth of households led by college graduates has increased by $23 trillion during the pandemic, according to data released by the Federal Reserve, while two-thirds of households that are not led by a college degree hold saw a net worth increase of $3.5 trillion.
If enacted, the bill would end the current moratorium — which is scheduled to end on August 31 — prohibit the president from canceling student loans, prohibit the Education Department from suspending student loan payments or the accrual of interest on student loans for consecutive 90-day periods, and prohibit imposing a moratorium on making payments for anyone earning more than 400% above the poverty line.