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Republicans try to stop Biden’s new, more affordable student loan repayment plan

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Senator Bill Cassidy, R-La., seen at the U.S. Capitol on Feb. 11, 2021.
Joshua Roberts | Reuters

Republican senators Bill Cassidy, M.D., of Louisiana; John Thune of South Dakota and more than a dozen other GOP colleagues introduced a Congressional Review Act resolution this week to overturn the Biden administration’s new, more affordable student loan repayment plan.

“Once again, Biden’s newest student loan scheme only shifts the burden from those who chose to take out loans to those who decided not to go to college, paid their way or already responsibly paid off their loans,” Cassidy said in a statement.

President Joe Biden’s plan, known as the Saving on a Valuable Education, or SAVE, plan, is expected to dramatically shrink many borrowers’ bills, with some seeing their monthly obligation fall to zero dollars.

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The U.S. Department of Education announced on Tuesday that more than 4 million people have already signed up for the program.

Consumer advocates criticized Republican efforts to roll back the aid.

“We condemn this move to block a plan that will provide significant financial relief to low-income borrowers and communities of color,” said Jaylon Herbin, director of federal campaigns at the Center for Responsible Lending.

The Education Department has warned that the Covid pandemic had left millions of borrowers financially worse off and that Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan was necessary to avoid a historic rise in delinquencies and defaults.

After the Supreme Court stuck down the debt cancellation policy in June, Biden rolled out a number of other relief measures for borrowers, including the SAVE plan.

The Congressional Review Act allows Congress to block new regulations with a joint resolution from the House and Senate. However, the president can veto the resolution.

As a result, “this attempt to block the SAVE plan will not be successful,” said higher education expert Mark Kantrowitz.

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