Friday, June 02, 2023

Senate Kills Biden's $400 Billion Student Loan Handout

By Sarah Arnold |

AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File

The Senate voted to kill President Joe Biden's proposal to forgive $400 billion in student loan debt in a 52-46 vote. 

On Thursday, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), along with all 49 Republicans, voted against the loan bailout, overturning Biden's plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student debt for federal borrowers making under $125,000 a year. 

Last week, the House passed the legislation by a vote of 218-203 – despite Republicans criticizing the proposal. 

"It's something of a slap in the face to Americans who chose more affordable college options or worked their way through school to avoid taking on student loans, or whose parents scrimped and saved to put them through college," Sen. John Thune (R-SD) said just before the Senate vote. 

He called it unfair for hard-working Americans to bear the burden of paying off loans a second time or paying for a degree they didn't even receive. 

On the contrary, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) blasted Republicans who voted to slash Biden's billion-dollar plan, claiming the GOP will do anything in their power to prevent Americans from living a life without crushing debt. 

"I've heard from so many people across my state who were so grateful and relieved to have a glimmer of hope finally, to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and now, Republicans want to snuff it out," Murray said. "Millions of Americans find themselves unfairly bogged down with massive debt so often through no fault of their own." 

Passed by both chambers of Congress, the legislation was drafted under the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to reject executive branch policy if both the House and Senate pass a resolution disapproving of that policy. 

Now that both chambers have passed the resolution, Biden is expected to veto it. However, it is unlikely that Congress will be able to secure the two-thirds majority needed to override Biden's imminent veto.