President Biden has vetoed the Republican-led resolution that would have killed his student loan debt relief plan.
Video of President Biden:
Congressional Republicans led an effort to pass a bill blocking my Administration’s plan to provide up to $20,000 in student debt relief to working and middle class Americans.
I won’t back down on helping hardworking folks.
That’s why I’m vetoing this bill. pic.twitter.com/ZeYEm4LOjz
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 7, 2023
I am returning herewith without my approval H.J. Res. 45, a resolution that would disapprove of the Department of Education’s rule relating to “Waivers and Modifications of Federal Student Loans.”
Since Day One, my Administration has been fighting to make college cheaper and the student loan system more manageable for borrowers. My Administration has championed the largest increase to Pell Grants in the last decade — a combined increase of $900 to the maximum award for students over the last 2 years — and has a plan to double the maximum Pell Grant by 2029 to nearly $13,000. This means more money in students’ pockets to pay for college. To help individuals who had to borrow to go to college, my Administration has been building a student loan system that works. The Department of Education has proposed the most generous repayment plan ever, which will cut undergraduate loan payments in half. It has also reformed the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to make it easier for hundreds of thousands of public service employees to get the debt relief they deserve.
The pandemic was devastating for families across the Nation. To give borrowers the essential relief they need as they recover from the economic strains associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Education created a program to provide up to $10,000 in debt relief — and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients — reaching more than 40 million hard-working Americans. Nearly 90 percent of this relief would go to Americans earning less than $75,000 per year, and no relief would go to any individual or household in the top 5 percent of incomes.
The demand for this relief is undeniable. In less than 4 weeks — during the period when the student debt relief application was available — 26 million people applied or were deemed automatically eligible for relief. At least 16 million of those borrowers could have received debt relief already if it were not for meritless lawsuits waged by opponents of this program.
The Department of Education’s action is based on decades-old authority, granted by the Congress. Multiple administrations over the last two decades have used this authority, following the same procedures as my Administration, to protect borrowers from the effects of national emergencies and military deployments. The Department of Education’s exercise of this authority has never previously been subject to the Congressional Review Act.
It is a shame for working families across the country that lawmakers continue to pursue this unprecedented attempt to deny critical relief to millions of their own constituents, even as several of these same lawmakers have had tens of thousands of dollars of their own business loans forgiven by the Federal Government.
I remain committed to continuing to make college affordable and providing this critical relief to borrowers as they work to recover from a once-in-a-century pandemic.
Therefore, I am vetoing this resolution.
President Biden continues to fight for debt relief for student loan borrowers. The only reason that the bill got through the Senate was that a few Democratic senators like Manchin and Tester along with Independent Sinema joined with Republicans.
Both the House and the Senate do not have the votes to override President Biden’s veto, so the President’s student loan forgiveness plan will live to see another day, and younger voters will remember Joe Biden fighting for them as they cast their ballots in 2024.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association