On Thursday, a bill led by Republicans was approved by the U.S. Senate, aiming to halt President Joe Biden's proposal of eliminating substantial student debt. Additionally, the bill seeks to promptly remove the freeze on student loan payments and interest.
The measure received approval from the Senate with a 52-46 vote, primarily following party lines. However, Senators John Tester (D-MT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) aligned with Republicans, shifting the balance in their favor. Notably, two Democratic Senators, Michael Bennet of Colorado and Mark Warner of Virginia, did not participate in the voting process.
“@POTUS‘ student loan socialism would shift hundreds of billions of dollars in debt from high earners who chose to incur it onto American taxpayers who did not,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wrote on Twitter. “But thanks to the leadership of @SenBillCassidy, @JohnCornyn, and @SenJoniErnst, the Senate has a chance to stop this."
Last week, the bill was approved by the House. However, as reported by Politico on Thursday, both the House and the Senate failed to secure a significant enough majority to override the expected veto from the White House.
“Unfortunately, the president is guaranteed to veto the measure, and there are not enough Democrats in the House and Senate to be willing to override his veto,” Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) said.
Under President Biden's program for student loan cancellation, individuals who earned less than $125,000 in 2020 and 2021 (or married couples with a combined income below $250,000) are eligible for debt relief of up to $10,000. Moreover, borrowers who received Pell Grants can qualify for loan forgiveness of up to $20,000.
The plan is presently pending a decision from the Supreme Court, expected to be delivered in late June or early July. This ruling will determine whether the plan can be implemented or not.