House votes to overturn Biden’s student loan forgiveness program

by Jacob Fuller

Matt Bush, FISM News

House Republicans, joined by two Democrats, passed a resolution Wednesday that would overturn President Joe Biden’s student loan debt forgiveness that could cost the government $400 billion. The resolution would also repeal Biden’s pause on federal student loan payments.

Lawmakers voted 218-203 as every Republican present voted in favor of the resolution, joined by Democratic Reps. Jared Golden (Maine) and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (Wash.).

“President Biden’s so-called student loan forgiveness programs do not make the debt go away, but merely transfer the costs from student loan borrowers onto taxpayers,” said Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), the sponsor of the resolution. “Congress should stop these unilateral actions. I am proud to lead the fight in the House to hold President Biden accountable for his reckless, unfair, and unlawful student loan proposal.”


Even after passing the House, the resolution will most likely not pass the Democrat-controlled Senate though centrists like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) have expressed concern over the debt forgiveness program. Even if it passed the Senate, it would probably be vetoed by the president.

The Supreme Court is expected to consider the legality of the plan later this summer, so the next few months will be crucial in whether or not borrowers have their debt canceled.

The topic has caused strong emotional reactions from both sides of the aisle.

“At a time when students need relief the most, Republicans are working to upend student loan forgiveness that started under (Donald) Trump and now continues under President Biden for more than 40 million borrowers,” said Rep. Mark Takano, (D-Calif.). “Why, for the love of God, do Republicans want to continue to punch down on America’s students and divide our country?”

Democrats are worried that the combination of borrowers not receiving the $10,000 and $20,000 worth of loan forgiveness and the pause on their current payments would cause undue hardships on millions of already struggling Americans.

“This resolution is an unprecedented attempt to undercut our historic economic recovery and would deprive more than 40 million hard-working Americans of much-needed student debt relief,” the Biden administration said in a statement.

One lawmaker, Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-Fla.), even brought race and gender into the argument accusing GOP lawmakers of using “bigoted logic” during a discussion of debt forgiveness on the House floor.

“If we legislated using the logic that you bring to this issue here today, women and black folks wouldn’t have the right to vote because it would be unfair to those who never got to vote before them,” Frost said.

Frost’s divisive comments were later stricken from the record.

House Republicans, on the other hand, argue that the debt forgiveness program would actually do more for the wealthy than for the poor that Democrats have argued would receive most of the benefit.

“Student loan cancelation is regressive,” said Rep. Virginia Foxx, (R-N.C.). “Two-thirds of this debt transfer plan would go to the top half of earners. It takes from those in the lower half and gives to the upper half.”


The argument for Republicans centers on the fact that President Biden issued an Executive Order to make the debt forgiveness happen which bypassed lawmakers completely and left the decision in the hands of one person.

As such, House Republicans used the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which allows Congress to suspend executive actions taken by the president. Using the CRA, a repeal takes only a majority of both the Senate and House to pass, so if Manchin and one other Democrat in the Senate votes for the repeal, it would put additional pressure on Biden.

While there is still a chance that debt forgiveness will happen, both the House resolution and Supreme Court case could still put an end to the Executive Order and save the federal government billions of dollars over the next few years.