Washington, D.C.– Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the GOP push to end President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program, denying millions of student loan borrowers critical relief. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Today, Senate Republicans will begin pushing a terrible measure that would end the pause on student loan payments and overturn President Biden's historic student loan cancellation program.
Let me be clear: I strongly, strongly oppose Republicans’ cruel attempt to deny millions of student loan borrowers the critical relief they so desperately need.
We should be in the business of helping Americans saddled with student loan debt –not making their problem worse as this measure would clearly do.
Even a casual examination of the Republican measure exposes it for what it is: a cruel, punitive, and extreme broadside against millions of American borrowers.
For one, the Republican measure would repeal the student loan payment pause, which has been a lifeline for millions of Americans, and even force borrowers to confront several months of retroactive payments, from September to December of 2022. Let me say that again, this is so important: this measure not only repeals the payment pause – it forces many borrowers to make retroactive payments as well.
The Republican measure also targets our public service employees – first responders, nurses, educators, servicemembers – by jeopardizing their eligibility for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Many Americans willingly chose career paths that pay less, and it’s a slap to the face of these public servants to suddenly take away their eligibility for loan forgiveness.
Now, my Republican colleagues talk a big game about helping working families, but this legislation shows how callous and uncaring they are, by trying to block relief that would immediately improve the lives of millions of borrowers.
Republicans have tried to paint President Biden’s plan as a tuition bailout, a giveaway to high earners. That’s just false. Republicans need to look at the facts.
Under President Biden’s plan, nearly 90% of relief dollars would go to out-of-school borrowers making less than $75,00 a year. Under President Biden’s plan, no one in the top 5% of incomes will receive a penny in debt relief.
So the Republican hypocrisy is enormous; they’re willing to give huge tax breaks to billionaires and very wealthy people and big corporations, but now they say that 90% of former students making less than $75,000 a year can’t get this. Wow. What a canard.
President Biden’s plan, which this Republican CRA would overturn, lifts up Americans from all walks of life: students of color, children of immigrants, poor Americans, and working families struggling to either get to the middle class or stay there.
So I will oppose this Republican CRA to overturn student debt relief, and will continue working to make sure relief reaches every single borrower in need.