Senate Republicans fail to stop Biden’s new student loan income-driven repayment plan

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Senate Republicans failed in their efforts to pass a resolution to overturn President Biden’s new student loans income-driven repayment (IDR) plan Wednesday.

All present Republicans and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) voted in support of a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would have halted the Saving on Valuable Education (SAVE) IDR plan, ultimately falling one vote short of the 50 needed to overturn the plan.

The CRA makes it so only 50 votes would have been needed to pass the resolution instead of the 60 that is typically needed to beat a filibuster. The final tally of Wednesday’s vote was 50-49 against the effort, with Republican Tim Scott (S.C.) the lone senator not voting.

“This is irresponsible. This is deeply unfair,” Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, said of Biden’s plan before the vote.

The SAVE plan is being implemented in two parts. This fall, borrowers are seeing a rise in income exemption for student loan payments from 150 percent to 225 percent above the federal poverty guidelines. Borrowers will also not see their unpaid interest grow.

Next year, borrowers will receive other benefits such as monthly payments getting cut from 10 percent of discretionary income to 5 percent.

Republicans highlighted that the plan will cost taxpayers $559 billion, saying individuals who never went to school or already paid off their student loans would wind up paying for others.

Previously, opponents in both the Senate and House were able to pass a CRA measure against Biden’s broader student debt relief program before the plan was struck down by the Supreme Court over the summer, but that resolution was ultimately vetoed by the president.

Democratic Sens. Manchin and Jon Tester (Mont.) and Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) all voted in support of the resolution to stop the student debt relief plan back in June.

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