Republicans began marking up a bill that would overturn Biden's new SAVE income-driven repayment plan.
Democratic Rep. Bobby Scott said it would force borrowers into unaffordable payments.
Over 4 million borrowers are already enrolled in the plan, the Education Department said.
Republican lawmakers are moving forward with a bill that would repeal President Joe Biden's new income-driven repayment plan. A top Democratic lawmaker isn't happy about it.
On Thursday, the House education committee began marking up a range of legislation, including a bill that would overturn Biden's new SAVE income-driven repayment plan, intended to lower monthly payments for borrowers. Republicans in the House and Senate introduced the legislation last week using the Congressional Review Act, which is a fast track tool Congress can use to overturn final rules put in place by federal agencies.
"Biden's new income-driven repayment plan if enacted will be the most expensive regulation in our nation's history," the Republicans on the House education committee wrote on X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday. "The fallout from his SAVE scheme will push students, institutions, taxpayers, and our economy to the breaking point, leaving borrowers paying for decades."
But Rep. Bobby Scott, the top Democrat on the committee, doesn't see it that way. In his opening statement during the markup, he said that the GOP bill would "undermine the economic security of millions of student borrowers."
"With the return to student loan repayment underway, student loan borrowers and their families are already anxious," he said. "If enacted, H.J. Res. 88 would prevent the Biden administration from implementing the plan, sending the student loan system into disarray, and further forcing many borrowers into delinquency, default, or payments they can't afford."
The Education Department recently said that 4 million student-loan borrowers have already enrolled in SAVE, and it's unclear what would happen to those borrowers should the Republican lawmakers' legislation be passed. Still, even if some Democrats join Republicans in passing the bill, Biden is likely to veto it, and it would be difficult for lawmakers to override his veto.
Student-loan payments are resuming in October, and the Education Department has touted its SAVE plan as an option for borrowers who are worried about affording their monthly payments. The department has also put in place a 12-month "on-ramp" period during which missed payments will not be reported to credit agencies — something GOP lawmakers have opposed, as well.
Meanwhile, the Education Department is moving forward with its process to get broad student-loan forgiveness to borrowers using negotiated rulemaking, which could take at least a year due to the requirement to hold hearings nad solicit public feedback. Legal challenges could face that plan, as well — and Republicans are continuing to move forward with their legislative efforts to block Biden's relief efforts.
"Once again, Biden's newest student loan scheme only shifts the burden from those who chose to take out loans to those who decided not to go to college, paid their way, or already responsibly paid off their loans," Sen. Bill Cassidy said in a statement last week. "Our resolution protects the 87 percent of Americans who don't have student debt and will be forced to shoulder the burden of the President's irresponsible and unfair policy."
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