The unique student loan forgiveness program launched by the Joe Biden Administration faces a new threat from House Republicans as they also a Supreme Court ruling is expected on whether or not the proposal can enter into force .
The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to pass a resolution that blocks the student loan forgiveness program and also ends the Covid-related pause that temporarily suspended payments on federal student loans.
Two Democrats, Rep. Jared Golden of Maine and Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez of Washington, joined Republicans in voting in favor of the bill.
In a vote of 218 to 203, Virginia Republican Rep. Bob Good passed his measure to end the pandemic-era student loan repayment lull, canceling that potential relief for 40 million borrowers.
Biden's proposal, which is also currently at the mercy of the conservative-leaning Supreme Court, is estimated to cost around $400 billion.
The vote also served to block President Biden's student debt relief plan that would give up to $20,000 in loan forgiveness to borrowers.
The Senate has yet to schedule a vote on the resolution, but nearly all of the 49 Republican senators have signed on as sponsors, according to CNN.
That Biden student debt relief plan was stopped by lower courts late last year, before any student debt could be cancelled. The pandemic payment pause, which has been in place since March 2020, will end at the end of this year.
President Joe Biden has vowed to veto the Republican-led resolution if it passes in both the House and the Senate. The administration said the resolution would “undermine America's middle class.”
“The president's plan is a good one. Is popular. And it will help prevent borrowers from defaulting when loan payments resume this summer,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday.
What are the benefits of Biden's student loan forgiveness plan
If the student loan forgiveness program is allowed to go forward, individual borrowers who won less than $125,000 in 2020 or 2021 and married couples or heads of households who earned less than $250,000 a year could see up to $10,000 of their federal student loan debt forgiven.
If a qualified borrower also received a federal Pell Grant while enrolled in college, the individual is eligible for debt forgiveness of up to $20,000.
While debt relief would help borrowers with student loans now, the program would not change the cost of college in the future, and some critics argue that it could even lead to increased tuition.