Not content with hoping that the Supreme Court will strike down a program started by the federal government to wipe out as much as $20,000 in student loan debt for individuals, a number of Republicans have started the process of using the Congressional Review Act to keep the program from ever being implemented.
Republicans in both chambers of Congress have introduced a joint resolution demonstrating their disapproval of the program and are attempting to knock down the program, which was introduced last August. Individuals making less than $125,000 per year would have up to $10,000 of their student loan debt forgiven — $20,000 if Pell grants were involved. The plan was expected to wipe out at least some, if not all, of the unpaid student loans for about 40 million individuals.
“President Biden’s so-called student loan forgiveness programs do not make the debt go away, but merely transfer the costs from student loan borrowers onto taxpayers to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars,” said Rep. Bob Good [R-Va.], one of the sponsors of the joint resolution, in a statement. “Congress should stop these unilateral actions, and I am proud to lead the fight in the House to hold President Biden accountable for his reckless, unfair, and unlawful student loan proposal. I hope all my colleagues will join me and support this effort.”
Opponents to the plan immediately mounted legal challenges and two cases have already made it to the Supreme Court, which heard arguments in the case last month.
The Congressional Review Act gives Congress the power to nullify executive branch rules. It has been used hundreds of times, but only 20 such acts have become law, according to a published report. In order for the resolution to actually be successful under the CRA, it must pass both the House of Representatives and the Senate and then be signed by the president.
In response, Miguel Cardona, the Secretary of Education, accused Republicans of choosing to support the “super wealthy” instead of “hardworking students and borrowers.”
“Republicans in Congress represent millions of borrowers who have applied for student debt relief,” Cardona said, in a statement. “It’s a shame for these borrowers — the overwhelming majority of whom make less than $75,000 a year — and their families that their representatives are working so hard to deny them critical relief.”