House Republicans are planning to vote on a bill this week to deprive over '40 million hard-working' student-loan borrowers of debt cancellation, the White House says — and if passed, Biden will veto it

House Republicans are planning to vote on a bill this week to deprive over '40 million hard-working' student-loan borrowers of debt cancellation, the White House says — and if passed, Biden will veto it
President Biden.Jacquelyn Martin, Pool
  • Republicans are planning to bring a bill overturning student-debt relief to the House floor for a vote this week.
  • The White House said in a Monday statement that Biden will veto the bill if it makes it to his desk.

House Republicans are teeing up a vote this week to overturn President Joe Biden's student-loan forgiveness, and as expected, the White House is ready to reject that legislation.

Earlier this month, the House education committee voted to approve a resolution that would block Biden's plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student debt for federal borrowers, along with immediately ending the ongoing student-loan payment pause.

First introduced in March by GOP Rep. Bob Good, the resolution used the Congressional Review Act, which is an oversight tool lawmakers can use to overturn final rules put in place by government agencies. A group of Republican senators also introduced a companion version of the bill, and the House is expected to vote on the legislation on Wednesday.

Even before Biden announced his broad student-loan forgiveness plan, many Republican lawmakers launched a series of attacks on the relief, calling it costly and unfair to those who have already paid off their debt. But many Democrats and the Biden administration have maintained confidence in the legality of the relief and said it is necessary to help millions of borrowers financially recover from the pandemic — and the White House is emphasizing its stance in a Monday statement from the Office of Management and Budget.

"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 OMB said.


"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 OMB added. "The Department of Education's action is based on decades-old authority granted by Congress. 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 statement concluded: "If Congress were to pass H.J. Res. 45, the President would veto it."

Biden's broad debt relief plan has been blocked since November due to two conservative-backed lawsuits that paused the implementation of the plan. Currently, millions of borrowers are awaiting a Supreme Court decision on the legality of the relief — expected by the end of June — but GOP lawmakers apparently don't want to wait for that decision, as evidenced by the resolution.

During an education committee hearing last week, top Republican Virginia Foxx said that "the culture of this country has shifted from one in which individuals are responsible for paying for themselves to one in which the government plays nanny to each individual need."

While the resolution could pass the House given the Republican majority, if faces a much trickier path in the Democratic-controlled Senate and White House. And 261 advocacy groups also recently called on congressional leaders to reject the Republican attempts to block student-debt relief, writing in a letter that "these CRA efforts would immediately force tens of millions of borrowers into abrupt and unplanned repayment with devastating effects, including adding thousands of dollars of payments and interest onto their loan balances."