Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin and Jon Tester, along with Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, joined Republicans Thursday in a vote to end President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program that aims to help millions of borrowers. .
The Senate voted 52-46 to cancel the Democratic president’s plan after House Republicans passed legislation last week to invalidate the loan forgiveness effort. The invoice, House Joint Resolution 45seeks to overturn a rule issued by the Department of Education in October that suspended payments on federal student loans and canceled those debts.
Sinema and Tester argued that while they want to help people in their states solve student loan problems, they believe the president should focus on addressing problems with the loan system itself.
“Like many Arizonans, education was my key to opportunity. Arizonans expect, and deserve, lasting solutions that address the underlying problem of high education costs,” Sinema said. news week. “The President’s student loan forgiveness plan, driven by politics rather than reality, is unfair to hardworking Arizonans who have responsibly repaid their student loans, creates false expectations, and undermines the economic certainty of Arizona students.”
Echoing Sinema, Montana’s Tester said he’s aware of the struggles people in his state face when trying to pay off the high cost of student loans, but added that he doesn’t support taxpayers “covering the tab without fixing the root.” . causes of the current problem.
Tester’s spokesman said news week In an email that the senator believes “we urgently need to address the underlying challenges of college affordability, like reining in colleges that jack up student prices. All Montana students who need financial aid should be able to access it, and students Montananese who choose not to go to college need a path to a good job that allows them to stay, work, and raise a family in Montana Senator Tester will continue to push his colleagues in Congress to address this serious issue bipartisan”.
Following the Senate vote to block the plan, the bill is now expected to head to Biden, who has vowed to veto it. Biden made student loan forgiveness a priority in his 2020 campaign and has continued to advocate strongly for it.
“[Biden] will veto this bill,” Karine Jean Pierre, the White House press secretary, said last week. The Senate and House are not likely to have enough support to override a presidential veto, which requires a two-thirds vote in both cameras.
About 43 million borrowers owe a total of $1.6 trillion in student loans, Forbes reported last month.
Biden announced loan relief plan last year to forgive outstanding federal student loan debt for some borrowers. The president said those who have student loans and make less than $125,000 a year are eligible for $20,000 in student loan forgiveness if they received Pell Grants, while those who make less than $125,000 and didn’t receive a Pell will be eligible for $10,000 in the sorry
The plan is being challenged in court, with the Supreme Court expected to rule on whether it can proceed, according to CBS News.
Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts denounced the Senate vote.
“Senate Republicans just voted to block @POTUS‘Student Debt Relief Plan, Force Millions to Immediately Repay Stopped Student Loans and Recover Relief from Public Servants’, Warren tweeted after the vote. “It is shameful. Fortunately we have President Biden who cares about workers and will veto this.”
Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington also spoke out against efforts to nullify student loan forgiveness efforts.
“I just spoke in the Senate against the efforts of Senate Republicans to undo the @POTUS student loan debt relief plan and eliminate the relief millions of borrowers count on. We are here to make life better of people, not to punish them for a broken loan system they got stuck with,” she tweeted on Thursday.
Biden’s plan has been repeatedly criticized by Republicans, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who argued last year that “lazy baristas” profiting from loan forgiveness would help Democrats win the 2022 midterm elections. in which they won a majority in the Senate, while the Republicans narrowly won a majority in the House. .
“There is a real risk,” saying cross at that time. “If you’re that slacker barista who wasted seven years in college studying completely useless stuff, now has loans and can’t get a job, Joe Biden just gave you 20,000. Like, holy shit! 20,000. You weren’t going to vote in November. And all of a sudden you only got $20,000.”
“And you know, if you can put the bong down for a minute and head over to the polling station,” he continued. “Or just mail in your ballot that the Democrats have kindly sent you; it could boost turnout, particularly among youth.”
news week has reached out to Manchin’s media office by email for comment.