GOP Lawmaker’s Bill Would Block Biden From Cancelling Student Debt

By Erika Hanson | 5 days ago

student loan bill

For months now, the big talk of the nation has centered around student loan cancellation. It’s been quite some time now that the Biden Administration has hinted at canceling a portion of all federal student loan debt for borrowers, as the Feds have also continued to prolong the current payment pause on federal loans. While some politicians, media outlets, and borrowers hail the looming movement as a road to recovery for millions of Americans unable to keep up with payments, many others feel that widespread cancellation will produce a devastating impact on the economy. Because of the latter opinion, GOP lawmakers are now looking at a student loan bill that would block Biden from making this executive move.

The 74 reports that a Republican Georgia congressman recently introduced a student loan bill he is saying would block the Biden administration from canceling any student loan debt. Drew Ferguson introduced the bill, known as the Studen Loan Accountability Act on June 9th, with support from fellow constituent Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin. If it were to be approved, it would ensure that the 43 million Americans currently owing more than $1.6 trillion in college debt would not be given any form of relief.

In a statement, Ferguson pointed to a few of the reasons why he and others opposed to any form of debt cancellation are against the measure. Above all, the congressman is opposed to using taxpayer dollars of hardworking Americans to pan out this hefty endeavor. In creating the student loan bill, he touched on the Americans that would be paying for this, many of whom had already paid off their student loan debt in its entirety, speaking of the unfairness. 

Additionally, Ferguson – like many others – feel that if the Biden administration were to shell out this relief, it would do nothing to solve the real crisis, which is considered to be the issue within the student loan system. To this, the politician said that Congress should shift its focus to “market driven solutions” to bring down the cost of college. Furthermore, Fergurson feels that the student loan bill would prohibit the government’s role in the student loan business, which he is all for.

Another major reason many are opposed to student loan debt cancellation leading to this student loan bill is because of who it would proportionately affect. A few months ago, a study conducted by the Chicago Booth Review found that massive debt cancellation would lead to more income disparity in America. The research found that the highest-income groups in the nation hold nearly twice the student loan balances of the lowest income groups. Since better-off borrowers are better equipped to make their payments, it would only put more money into their pockets.

Still, those against this student loan bill feel that these reasons aren’t enough to justify not aiding those in need who are struggling to stay afloat with massive debt. For many, the situation is said to be dire, and advocates for cancellation fear that when the payment pause ends on August 31st, millions of Americans will default on their loans. One study from the California Policy Lab suggested that one in three student loan borrowers will struggle to make loan payments. 

student loan bill

Either way, Ferguson’s student loan bill proposal will likely never see the light of day and will be shot down before it could become law. Foreshadowing this, Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney introduced a similar piece of legislation in the Senate chambers last month that was quickly shot down. For now, it looks like Biden will cancel student loans in some form or another, but as America waits for that announcement, the debate over its purpose rages on.