The Senate approved a Republican-led initiative aimed at overturning President Joe Biden’s comprehensive plan for student loan forgiveness. In response, the White House has stated its intention to veto the measure.
In a Senate session held on Thursday, a Republican-led initiative aimed at overturning President Joe Biden’s comprehensive student loan forgiveness plan received approval. However, the White House has made it clear that they intend to veto this measure.
President Biden’s proposal to provide student debt relief by canceling up to $20,000 for millions of Americans is currently awaiting a decision from the Supreme Court, which is deliberating on its legality.
The recently passed House bill, supported solely by the Democratic party, would not only nullify the temporary suspension of student loan payments but might also require borrowers to repay the interest they have saved during this payment pause, which has been in effect for over three years.
With a narrow margin of 52-46, the legislation secured passage, with the support of two Democrats and one independent senator joining the Republicans.
According to experts, borrowers have little reason to be concerned about the expected veto. Mark Kantrowitz, a higher education expert, stated that the veto is unlikely to have any significant impact and is essentially a tactic employed for political purposes, aiming to appeal to their respective support base.
Senator John Thune, a Republican from South Dakota, admitted that the approval of the legislation held mostly symbolic significance.
“Regrettably, the president is certain to veto the proposal, and there are insufficient Democrats in both the House and Senate who are willing to override his veto,” Thune remarked during his address on Thursday.
Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, stated in a release that he voted against the president’s plan due to concerns about the country’s ability to bear an additional $400 billion burden on its national debt, which is the estimated cost of Biden’s program.
Manchin expressed his concern about the policy, stating that it places an unfair burden on diligent taxpayers who have already paid off their loans or opted not to pursue higher education.
Several Democratic lawmakers have expressed strong disapproval of the legislation, releasing statements that condemn its impact. Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts criticized the Republicans’ actions, referring to their attempt to impede President Biden’s relief efforts for millions of Americans burdened by student loan debt as cruel, damaging to the economy, and disconnected from the financial realities faced by working families. He even went so far as to say that kicking Republicans in the heart would result in breaking one’s toe, emphasizing his belief in their lack of empathy.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer from New York characterized the move as a direct insult to over 40 million Americans. He highlighted the importance of assisting individuals with student debt rather than exacerbating their difficulties, considering it a fundamental approach to address their challenges effectively.