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Thune, Cassidy Introduce the Stop Reckless Student Loan Actions Act

Senators’ legislation would prevent taxpayers and working families from paying for the ongoing suspension of federal student loan repayments

February 16, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, today reintroduced the Stop Reckless Student Loan Actions Act. The legislation would end President Biden’s untargeted, budget-busting suspension of repayments on qualifying federal student loans. The bill would still allow the president to temporarily suspend repayment for certain low- and middle-income borrowers, as well as members of the armed forces during a time of war or national emergency. The bill would also prohibit the president from cancelling outstanding federal student loan obligations due to a national emergency.

“Taxpayers, especially working families, should not be responsible for bearing the costs associated with President Biden’s federal student loan suspension,” said Thune. “It’s incredibly unfair to those who never incurred student debt because they didn’t attend college in the first place or because they either worked their way through school or their family pinched pennies and planned for higher education. It’s time for borrowers to resume repayment of their student loans, and I’m proud to lead this common-sense legislation that would protect taxpayers and prevent President Biden from suspending these loans in perpetuity.”

“President Biden is unfairly transferring the burden from those who willingly took on loans to those who did not,” said Dr. Cassidy. “There is no support for the man who didn’t go to college but is paying off a work truck or the woman who responsibly paid off her student loans but is struggling with her mortgage. This legislation stops Biden from sticking them with the bill for hundreds of billions of dollars.”

“It was always a clear abuse of power and deeply unfair for President Biden to ask Americans who don’t have student debt to foot the bill for those who do,” said Brent Gardner, chief government affairs officer for Americans for Prosperity. “For too long, the executive branch has accumulated unchecked emergency powers that only entrench our broken system in Washington. This bill helps restore the balance by empowering Congress to hold the president accountable for abusing emergency powers for political gain.”

“The student loan pause will cost taxpayers upwards of $195 billion while feeding inflation and providing massive windfalls to doctors, lawyers, and other high-income professionals,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “Whatever justification for the pause once existed in the depth of the pandemic has long since passed. The irresponsible stewardship of the student loan program, including multiple costly extensions of the pause, has made clear that a legislative solution is needed.”

“This legislation is common-sense reform to emergency powers that puts a gut check on the executive branch’s clear overreach of authority,” said Alex Miliken, policy and government affairs manager for the National Taxpayers Union (NTU). “The cost of President Biden’s reckless student debt policies has ballooned to the tune of more than $400 billion in hard earned tax dollars. NTU celebrates this prudent refinement of executive authority and urges its swift consideration.”

This legislation is co-sponsored by U.S. Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), and Tim Scott (R-S.C.).

On November 22, 2022, President Biden again extended the suspension of repayments for federal student loans – an outdated pandemic-era policy that has cost taxpayers over $160 billion dollars.