The House of Representatives voted along party lines Wednesday to block President Joe Biden’s executive order transferring billions of dollars in student loan debt to American taxpayers.
Republican Virginia Rep. Bob Good’s resolution, introduced in March under the Congressional Review Act, passed 218-203. All voting Republicans supported the resolution, while all but two voting Democrats opposed it. Biden has pledged to veto the resolution, on which the Senate has not yet voted.
Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress can pass resolutions of disapproval to block executive orders, but the resolutions are subject to presidential veto. (RELATED: Two Senate Dems Join Republicans In Move To Stop Biden’s Politicized ESG Investment Rule)
The House passed H.J.Res. 45 by a vote of 218-203. https://t.co/CdrQWz1QMG
— House Press Gallery (@HouseDailyPress) May 24, 2023
“President Biden’s student loan transfer scheme shifts hundreds of billions of dollars of payments from student loan borrowers onto the backs of the American people. I am proud to lead the fight against President Biden’s reckless, unilateral, and unauthorized action that would unfairly penalize those who worked hard to pay off their loans or who never took them out in the first place,” Good said in a statement. “I am pleased that my Republican colleagues overwhelmingly supported my legislation on the House Floor this week.”
After repeatedly extending a moratorium on student loan payments, the Department of Education announced in Aug. 2022 that it would cancel $10,000 of debt for individuals making less than $125,000 or families making less than $250,000. Pell Grant recipients could have $10,000 more canceled. Although Democrats framed the bailout as beneficial to minority groups and poorer Americans, the primary beneficiaries have been graduate degree holders, who tend to be wealthier.
Several Republican-controlled states and nonprofit groups sued the Biden administration over the bailout shortly after it was announced. The administration has argued that it had the authority to transfer the debt to taxpayers under the 2003 HEROES Act, and that the plaintiffs do not have standing to sue. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Biden v. Nebraska on Feb. 28.
The student loan forgiveness plan would add $400 billion to the federal deficit, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis.