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Senate Scraps Biden’s Plan to Forgive over $400 Billion in Student Loan Debt

Democrats and Republicans Clash over Student Loan Debt Forgiveness


The Senate has made the decision to reject President Biden’s proposal that called for over $400 billion in student loan debts to be forgiven. This move is expected to ultimately force Biden to issue his fifth veto since taking on the presidency.

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A total of 52 Senators voted to pass a resolution that disapproved of the Department of Education rule that implemented Biden’s plan. Thanks to the votes of Senators Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz, alongside 49 Republicans the vote proved successful in scrapping the loan bailout.

The decision of the Senate comes following the 218-203 vote in the House last week to kill the program, something that Republicans believe is unjust to citizens who either chose not to take out student loans or opted to pay their loans back.

On the Senate floor before the vote, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D. stated: “It’s something of a slap in the face to Americans who chose more affordable college options or worked their way through school to avoid taking on student loans, or whose parents scrimped and saved to put them through college.”

The vote is clearly outlining the divide between Republicans and Democrats not just through their votes but also their rationale. Democrats overwhelmingly voted against the resolution, they believed that killing the program would impact millions of Americans who have already qualified for debt relief.The Democrats’ view of the program was reiterated by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash when she said: “I’ve heard from so many people across my state who were so grateful and relieved to have a glimmer of hope finally, to see a light at the end of the tunnel, and now, Republicans want to snuff it out.”

The rule approved by both the House and the Senate was written under the Congressional Review Act. The mostly partisan nature of the votes in both the House and Senate means that Congress most probably will not find the necessary two-thirds majority needed in each chamber to override Biden’s veto.

The proposal announced last year by Biden called for the cancellation of up to $10,000 in student loans for people making less than $125,000, and up to $20,000 for students who received Pell Grants. While this program was expected to cost the government over $400 billion in debt repayment, the court blocked it, putting the plan on hold.

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The Senate’s vote has resulted in unprecedented discussion across the country regarding the fairness and morality of cancelling student debt. The Senate’s vote is being referred to by many, including several politicians, as a significant moment for the country. The present-day financial reality has left over 40 million former students with loan debts, which collectively add up to $1.7 trillion.

The decision by the Senate to reject Biden’s proposal has come as a blow to the younger generation who had hoped that the issue of student debt would have been addressed. Currently, in the United States, higher education costs are at their highest, with young people struggling to find work with which to pay off their debts, stifling their long-term life goals.

The resurgence of the debate regarding student debt might not stop anytime soon. Following Biden’s election, there was a growing anticipation that student relief would become an economic priority for his presidency. Despite the rejection in the Senate, Biden is still likely to continue to look at new ways to address student loans.

The issue of student debt extends far beyond partisan politics. The rising costs of higher learning in the United States are a matter of public policy. The increasing number of young people, many of whom belong to lower-income families, who now find themselves with crippling debt, is a problem that needs to be addressed. There is a strong possibility that future generations across the political spectrum will be adversely affected if nothing is done to address the problem.

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There have been debates around the idea that students often take out a loan to study and should, therefore, know what to expect. However, that argument disregards the fact that college is now exponentially more challenging to pursue due to the rising rates of education. Student debt might become a more significant burden as costs continue to surge and higher education becomes less accessible for many.

One possible solution to the problem is for colleges and universities to take on a more significant role and responsibility in addressing student debt. The introduction of tuition reimbursement plans or a reduction in fees might be helpful. Such an approach will ultimately benefit the students who come from lower-income families and cannot afford to pay their tuition fees. The possibility of viewing higher education as part of the public welfare instead of a commodity would provide immense relief to struggling students.

Another issue to consider is the practice of treating education loans like any other consumer loans. Doing this does not consider the fact that student loans are often not appropriate for young adults. Questions remain regarding if there is an ethical rule that clearly outlines the rules around student loan processing. Instead, loan providers often seem unclear, providing little explanation or guidance for young students.

However, the Senate vote is proof that the majority of lawmakers in Congress believe that student loan debts should not be forgiven by taxpayers. Scrapping the idea of student loan forgiveness might ultimately, in the long term, have some unintended consequences. With student debts on the rise, it is clear that more needs to be done to make college affordable and accessible to all.

The push for the forgiveness of student loans has been on the agenda for many years. With a new administration in charge, there was a strong chance that something might have been done to rectify the issue. While the Senate’s vote is detrimental to those in debt, the discussion around the issue has not ended. The next few months will undoubtedly see new proposals presented or existing ones reworked, with lawmakers looking for a new solution that is more acceptable to all.

The Senate’s vote should not end the discussion around student loans; rather, it should be the signal needed to instigate significant reforms. The vote opens the door to address the issues around student debt, something that affects millions of Americans. By examining the different proposals and options available, lawmakers will be making sure that education remains accessible and is a tool for social mobility and economic growth. This way, future generations of Americans will not have to endure a similar experience.

The Senate’s decision might be final, but it is clear from the response countrywide that the issue of student loan forgiveness has not been laid to rest. The question remains around whether students should be paying education debts that can take a lifetime to pay off. As America looks towards a new chapter with the election of a new president, there will always be issues that need to be addressed and the fight to make education more affordable and accessible will continue.


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