The White House promotes a new plan to pay off a student loan while Republicans plan to block it | Education News

The White House announced Tuesday that as many as 4 million student loan borrowers have signed up for the Biden administration’s latest payment plan since the app went live last month, but the initiative is facing growing resistance from Republicans.

The income-based repayment plan, which was set up by the Department of Education after the Supreme Court struck down the administration’s Premium Student Debt Relief Scheme, is part of an ongoing effort to provide financial relief to millions of borrowers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. An additional million borrowers have applied for the SAVE repayment plan since July 30.

Under the plan, a single borrower who makes less than about $15 an hour doesn’t have to make any payments, and it’s estimated that borrowers who earn more than that amount will save more than $1,000 annually on their payments compared to other payment plans. Perhaps most importantly, the new plan also ensures that borrowers never see their balances grow due to unpaid interest as long as they keep up with their payments and forgive most balances after 10 years of payment.

“This is a really impressive response,” said Undersecretary of Education James Kavale. It’s important to remember that this plan is very new. President Biden announced it on the last day of June. The app was made available as a beta version on July 30th and officially launched on August 22nd, just two weeks ago.

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But on the same day that the White House released new numbers on the repayment plan’s popularity, Republicans in the House and Senate announced a concerted plan to block it by introducing a Congressional Review Act resolution.

They called the plan “reckless” and an “election year stunt,” and stressed that the plan’s steep cost — estimates range from $138 billion to more than $500 billion over 10 years depending on the number of registered borrowers — is unfair to those who opt for the plan. Not going to college and, therefore, not incurring student loan debt.

“Once again, Biden’s latest student loan plan only serves to shift the burden from those who chose to take loans to those who decided not to attend college, pay their way through, or actually repay their loans,” said Senator Bill Cassidy. Louisiana Republican.

Cassidy has the support of at least 17 of his fellow Republicans and needs 30 votes to force a vote on the resolution. An accompanying measure was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Lisa McClain, R-Michigan.

And it wouldn’t be the first time that congressional Republicans have used the legislative tool to block Biden’s effort to cancel student loans.

In June, before the Supreme Court dealt a deathblow to the student loan debt cancellation plan, the Senate held a bipartisan vote to support a resolution that would have prevented it from becoming law and also resumed monthly loan payments that were paused from the start due to the coronavirus pandemic. — the most significant rejection yet of the White House’s signature higher education policy.

They will use the same legislative tool to try to block the administration’s latest payment plan, and hope that moderate Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia will support their cause. All votes under the Congressional Review Act are simple majority votes, but Biden would almost certainly veto the measure, and Republicans would likely lack the two-thirds majority required to override a presidential veto.

Despite growing opposition to the repayment plan and the Supreme Court’s dismantling of the blanket student loan debt cancellation plan, providing relief to borrowers has been one of the administration’s biggest accomplishments in the past three years.

In all, the Biden administration has agreed to forgive more than $117 billion in student loan debt for 3.4 million borrowers, including borrowers who have been defrauded by their schools or experienced sudden school closures, those who become permanently disabled, and those who are enrolled in service repayment. Program and other income-based payment plans whose debts have not been accurately serviced.

(tags for translation) Lauren Camera

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