Republicans are gearing up to investigate Biden's student-debt relief when they take control of the House

Republicans are gearing up to investigate Biden's student-debt relief when they take control of the House
Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C.Al Drago/CQ Roll Call
  • GOP Reps. Virginia Foxx and Jason Smith began oversight actions on Biden's student-debt relief.
  • They asked the OMB to preserve all records related to the costs of student-debt reforms.

Republicans are getting ready to exercise their oversight power over President Joe Biden once they take control of the House.

On November 17, Reps. Jason Smith and Virginia Foxx — top Republicans on the House budget and education committees, respectively — sent a letter to Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Shalanda Young regarding Biden's recent actions to reform the student-loan program.

Specifically, they requested the OMB preserve all records related to the president's "costly plan to overhaul the federal student loan program," including his announcement to cancel up to $20,000 in student debt for federal borrowers, along with his proposed reforms to income-driven repayment plans, which will lower the monthly payments borrowers would be required to make.

"It is critical the Biden Administration is as transparent as possible with the American people on the projected costs and economic impacts associated with these policies, particularly how such fiscal impacts were taken into consideration as policy specifics were debated and finally determined," the lawmakers wrote. "For example, after a full year of raging inflation, without any signs of abating anytime soon, Americans deserve to know if OMB considered how these actions would make inflation worse."

While Democrats maintained control over the Senate in the midterms elections, Republicans managed to win a slim majority over the House — and they're likely to use that power to investigate the Biden administration. For example, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News that he's eyeing investigations on how Biden handled the pandemic and his withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, among other things.


Student-loan forgiveness is on the list, as well — Foxx and other Republican lawmakers have been highly critical of debt relief because they argued it would cost taxpayers and requires Congressional approval. They have supported the two lawsuits that have successfully put a pause on the implementation of the debt relief.

Now, Foxx and Smith want the OMB to preserve information related to the timing of Biden's August announcement of debt relief in coordination with the midterms, any estimates on the impact of inflation the relief will cause, and the cost of the relief per month to US taxpayers.

As Insider previously reported, while House Republicans might also try to block debt relief on their own through legislation, the fate of student-loan forgiveness ultimately rests in the courts because they will not have sufficient votes to override a veto from Biden.

Given the legal process could take months, the Education Department is considering extending the student-loan payment pause again, beyond its expiration date of December 31. The department has also taken matters to the Supreme Court, most recently appealing the decision of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to continue its pause on Biden's debt relief. It's unclear at this point what the nation's highest court will decide, and in the meantime, the department has begun notifying borrowers that their applications for relief have been approved.