The U.S. Senate voted to overturn President Joe Biden’s student debt transfer program on June 1, rebuking his efforts to bypass Congress and cancel the debt of certain student loan recipients.
The chamber passed the joint resolution of disapproval in a 52–46 vote with the help of Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Democratic Sens. Jon Tester of Montana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
“Today I voted to repeal the Biden Administration’s student loan cancellation proposal because we simply cannot afford to add another $400 billion to the national debt,” Manchin said in a statement, citing a Congressional Budget Office estimate.
“There are already more than 50 existing student loan repayment and forgiveness programs aimed at attracting individuals to vital service jobs, such as teachers, health care workers, and public servants,” he noted. “This Biden proposal undermines these programs and forces hard-working taxpayers who already paid off their loans or did not go to college to shoulder the cost. Instead, we should be focusing on bipartisan student debt reforms that reduce the cost of higher education and help all Americans.”
In addition to offering to cancel up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt for roughly 40 million borrowers, Biden’s program would extend a national pause on the collection of student loan payments and interest that has been ongoing since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program has not yet taken effect due to court challenges, which the Supreme Court is expected to rule on in the coming weeks.
Republicans have been particularly vocal in their opposition to the program, noting that the $400 billion price tag would be paid by the American taxpayers.
“Make no mistake: These reckless student loan schemes do not forgive debt,” Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) noted Wednesday on the Senate floor. “They transfer burden from those who willingly took out the loans to go to college to make more money when they graduated to Americans who never attended college or who have already paid back their loans. These policies are as unfair as they are irresponsible.”
The Senate’s vote to overturn the program follows the House’s vote to do so last week.
Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), the joint resolution’s sponsor, celebrated the Senate’s vote Thursday, calling Biden’s program “unlawful and unfair.”
“I am proud to have led the House fight against President Biden’s reckless, unilateral, and unconstitutional action that would penalize those who worked hard to pay off their loans or who never took them out in the first place,” Good said. “The President should reverse course, and do the right thing by signing this legislation as it heads to his desk.”
The resolution, which passed the House on May 24, will now head to Biden’s desk.
The president is expected to veto the measure.
From The Epoch Times