(USNewsMag.com) – President Joe Biden’s proposal to forgive nearly $20,000 of debt from student loans for select students was blocked by Congress. Biden vetoed the bill, and the Republicans in the House were unable to muster the necessary two-thirds majority to overturn the veto.
The White House has maintained that the plan to forgive some student indebtedness would alleviate borrowers’ financial burdens and prevent them from defaulting when payments on student loans are resumed this year after a multi-year hiatus due to a pandemic.
Republicans have claimed that canceling student loans would cost $400 billion. They further claim that taxpayers who didn’t go to college or have already paid their student debts are forced to subsidize the program, which is illegal. The Congressional Budget Office states that halting the program would save roughly $320 billion from the deficit.
House Republicans tried to stop President Biden’s plan when the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said it fell under the Congressional Review Act (CRA).
The resolution won the backing of senators Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Joe Manchin (D-WV) and was ultimately approved by the House and Senate with their Democrat majority. Due to the lack of a supermajority, President Biden used his veto power on the measure in early June.
House Republicans had enough votes to approve the original resolution, but on June 11, they couldn’t muster enough votes to override a veto from Biden. The final tally in the House was a partisan 221-206 vote.
Although Congress failed to override Biden’s veto, the legislation must still be decided upon by the Supreme Court, which will decide whether the debt cancellation plan can go through. The Supreme Court’s decision is anticipated around the end of June or beginning of July.
Debt forgiveness might benefit students in need right now, but it wouldn’t lower the price of higher education in the long run. The possibility of a rise in tuition has been discussed by some critics.
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