May 24, 2023 | WASHINGTON, D.C. — After months of relentless legislative attacks on student loan borrowers, House Republicans doubled down today by passing H.J.Res.45, a harmful student debt Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution aimed at reversing the COVID-19 payment pause on federal student loans and blocking President Biden’s debt relief plan. This reckless measure will also reinstate more than 260,000 already canceled student loans owed by teachers, nurses, and other public service workers.
In response, Student Borrower Protection Center Executive Director Mike Pierce issued the following statement:
The record is clear: the damage caused by this cruel and reckless legislation will hurt working people, including millions of its right-wing supporters’ own constituents.
This bill’s backers are clearly frightened by what they have done. Right-wing proponents have gone to great lengths to mislead their own colleagues and deny the truth—this effort would push hundreds of thousands of public service workers back into debt and require the government to charge tens of millions borrowers for interest that has already been cancelled. Should this become law, it will cause irreparable damage to the student loan system and undermine Americans’ trust in their government. This is exactly what extreme conservative lawmakers want, they are just afraid to say it.
Introduced by Representative Bob Good (R-VA-05), the student debt CRA scheme will cause economic havoc for more than 43 million borrowers and their families by:
- Rolling back at least four months of paused payments and $5 billion per month in waived interest charges, requiring the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to send surprise loan bills to tens of millions of borrowers, even potentially impacting the 8th (and current) payment pause;
- Forcing ED to reinstate already-cancelled debts under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program for hundreds of thousands of public service workers. In fact, data released on Tuesday by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and SBPC shows that more than 260,000 public service workers could see their debt reinstated;
- Clawing back progress towards relief under PSLF and Income-Driven Repayment for millions of borrowers; and
- Blocking the President’s student debt relief program.
A growing coalition, including over 260 organizations representing tens of millions of borrowers, students, workers, people of color, veterans, people with disabilities, consumers, and people of faith have opposed this harmful legislation and earlier this month sent a letter to members urging them to reject it.
- SBPC-AFT Analysis of the Effect of the Student Debt CRA Resolution on Public Service Workers across America: https://protectborrowers.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/CRA-fact-sheet.pdf
- SBPC Analysis of the Effects of the Student Debt CRA Resolution on Service Members and Veterans: https://protectborrowers.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/CRA-Servicemembers-and-Veterans-Fact-Sheet.pdf
- SBPC Analysis of the Effects of the Student Debt CRA Resolution on All Borrowers (April 2023): https://protectborrowers.org/new-analysis-confirms-congressional-efforts-to-overturn-payment-pause-and-debt-relief-will-wreak-economic-havoc-on-tens-of-millions-of-borrowers/
- AFT’s Report on CRA: Fight for Student Debt Forgiveness
- SBPC Two-Pager on the Effects of the Student Debt CRA Resolution: https://protectborrowers.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/CRA-Two-Pager.pdf
About Student Borrower Protection Center
The Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC) is a nonprofit organization focused on alleviating the burden of student debt for millions of Americans. The SBPC engages in advocacy, policymaking, and litigation strategy to rein in industry abuses, protect borrowers’ rights, and advance economic opportunity for the next generation of students.
Learn more at protectborrowers.org or follow SBPC on Twitter @theSBPC.