Biden Administration Threatens to Veto GOP Move Against Student Loan Forgiveness

Biden Administration Threatens to Veto GOP Move Against Student Loan Forgiveness
President Joe Biden speaks during a press conference following the G7 Summit of world leaders in Hiroshima, Japan, on May 21, 2023. (Kiyoshi Ota/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)
Savannah Hulsey Pointer

The White House announced that President Joe Biden would veto a Republican-led House measure that would halt the administration’s student loan forgiveness program.

In a Statement of Administration Policy released on May 22, the White House expressed its disapproval of H.J. Res. 45, which would disapprove the student loan forgiveness plan that would have provided up to $20,000 in relief to millions of student loan borrowers.
“If Congress were to pass H.J. Res. 45, the President would veto it,“ the statement from the White House said. The administration asserts the measure would ”weaken America’s middle class.”

In the policy statement, the administration outlined its justification for the student loan forgiveness program, saying: “Nearly 90 percent of the relief provided by the Department of Education 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 administration went on to assert that “Americans should be able to have a little more breathing room as they recover from the economic strains associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The legislation is in response to the Biden administration’s plan to offer student loan debt relief to millions of Americans. The plan was part of the fulfillment of Biden’s campaign promise.

“The Department of Education’s action is based on decades-old authority granted by Congress,” the White House’s policy stated. “That authority has been used by multiple administrations over the last two decades following the same procedures to protect borrowers from the effects of national emergencies and has never been subject to the Congressional Review Act. The Department’s action here should be treated no differently.”

The resolution’s sponsor, Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) told The Epoch Times in response to the news that the administration planned to veto the resolution, “Given his fiscal track record, it is no surprise that President Biden would oppose any action to undo his unlawful and unfair executive actions to transfer hundreds of billions of dollars worth of burdensome student loans onto the backs of American taxpayers.”

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) published a letter (pdf) in September 2022, detailing the estimated budgetary effects of the student loan forgiveness program, saying they estimate the total cost of cancellation at about $400 billion over the 2023-2033 period, on a net-present-value basis.
The Congressional Budget Office conducted a cost estimate (pdf) for the impact of H.J. Res. 45 saying it would “reduce direct spending, on a net-present-value basis, by $319.6 billion in 2023, and by $315.6 billion over the 2023-2033 period.”
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