Biden's student debt relief plan dealt heavy blow by Senate

Washington DC - The Senate dealt a blow to President Joe Biden's student loan forgiveness plan on Thursday, voting to overturn up to $20,000 of relief for 40 million borrowers.

The Senate has voted to strike down President Joe Biden's plan to grant up to $20,000 in student debt relief for 40 million borrowers.
The Senate has voted to strike down President Joe Biden's plan to grant up to $20,000 in student debt relief for 40 million borrowers.  © Brendan Smialowski / AFP

The Senate voted 52-46 in favor of a measure to scrap Biden's proposed student debt relief, with Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Jon Tester and Independent Senator Kyrsten Sinema joining Republicans in support.

Only a simple majority of 50 votes was required to pass the Congressional Review Act measure rather than the usual 60 needed to overcome a filibuster.

The House last week passed a resolution on a 218-203 vote to overturn the president's student debt relief proposal. Democratic Representatives Jared Golden of Maine and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez of Washington sided with their Republican colleagues in moving the resolution forward.

Biden takes aim at Trump and the media in aggressively defiant Detroit rally
Joe Biden Biden takes aim at Trump and the media in aggressively defiant Detroit rally

Biden is expected to veto the measure, with neither chamber of Congress appearing to have the two-thirds vote necessary to override his decision.

Even if it defeats the congressional challenge, Biden's student debt relief plan faces a threat from the conservative-majority Supreme Court, where justices are due to rule on its constitutionality.

Republicans have expressed confidence the court will rule in their favor after conservative justices expressed skepticism of the plan during oral arguments earlier this year.

In the meantime, payments are to continue at the end of the summer, as a lift of the pandemic-era pause was included in the debt ceiling agreement passed by the House on Wednesday.

Cover photo: Brendan Smialowski / AFP

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