Two Democrats and one Independent joined with all 48 present Senate Republicans on Thursday to pass a resolution blocking President Joe Biden’s plan to shift billions of dollars in student loans onto American taxpayers.
The Congressional Review Act resolution, introduced in the upper chamber by Republican Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy, would overturn the Department of Education’s 2022 move to forgive up to $20,000 in loans for some recipients. A companion resolution introduced by Republican Virginia Rep. Bob Good passed the House in May, 218-203. Biden has pledged to veto the resolution.
Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana, along with Independent Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, joined with Republicans.
By a vote of 52-46, the #Senate agreed to passage of H.J. Res. 45, Cassidy Student Loan Waivers CRA.
Democrats voting in favor: Senators Manchin & Tester
Independent voting in favor: Senator Sinema
Senators Bennett & Warner did not vote.
— Senate Press Gallery (@SenatePress) June 1, 2023
“We preserved the ability for folks who don’t have the income, who’ve lost their job, who took a low-paying job, to still be able to get relief for their student loans. What this repeals is the student loan pause, but also this kind of, it doesn’t matter who you are or whether you’re in need, those folks who are getting their student loans transferred to the backs of American taxpayers. It’s not forgiven, it’s transferred,” Cassidy said in a video ahead of the vote. “It’s a vote for fairness.”
Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress may pass resolutions of disapproval to block executive orders, although the resolutions are subject to presidential veto. All of Biden’s presidential vetoes have been of Congressional Review Act resolutions. (RELATED: ‘Infuriating’: Manchin Blasts Biden’s First Veto, Says Admin Puts ‘Radical’ Green Agenda Before Country’s Needs)
Biden announced in August 2022 that the Department of Education would permanently forgive $10,000 in student loans for individuals making less than $125,000 a year and families making less than $250,000. Individuals on Pell grants are eligible for $20,000 of loan forgiveness. He claimed that a 9/11-era allowed him broad authority to forgive student loans for people impacted by the COVID-19 national emergency. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the move will cost taxpayers $400 billion over ten years.
The Fiscal Responsibility Act, passed in the House on Wednesday, ends the student loan payment moratorium that President Donald Trump began at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.