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Senate votes to repeal Biden's student loan forgiveness plan

Biden’s plan to cancel up to $20,000 in federal student loans for 43 million Americans remains on hold as the Supreme Court considers its fate.

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Thursday approved a Republican-backed resolution that would overturn President Joe Biden’s student loan cancellation plan, but the White House has vowed to veto it and the plan remains on hold as the Supreme Court considers its fate.

The resolution passed the House last week and now goes to Biden for the expected veto. 

It adds to the GOP’s ongoing attack on Biden’s one-time student loan cancellation, which was halted in November in response to lawsuits from conservative opponents. The Supreme Court is now weighing the plan after hearing arguments in February. A decision is expected in the coming weeks.

Biden’s plan would cancel up to $20,000 in federal student loans for 43 million Americans. About 26 million had applied for the relief before courts intervened.

Who voted to overturn student loan cancellation? 

Democrats Sen. Joe Manchin, Sen. Jon Tester and Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona joined Senate Republicans to push the measure over the 50-vote threshold needed for approval. 

The latest Republican challenge employs the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to undo recently enacted executive branch regulations. Passing a resolution requires a simple majority in both chambers, but overriding a presidential veto requires two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate.

The measure would retroactively add several months of student loan interest that was waived by Biden’s extension, according to a letter from more than 260 organizations urging Congress to reject it.

When will student loan payments resume?

The short answer is that student loan payments are likely to resume later this summer. 

The Biden administration had said since November that the student loan pause will extend until 60 days after the Supreme Court rules on the plan. But if the lawsuit has not been resolved by June 30, payments would resume 60 days after that. 

Reinforcing that second option is the deal Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, negotiated to raise the nation's debt limit and avoid a federal default. 

The package, which still needs approval from Congress, would also end the pause 60 days after June 30 — requiring the government to resume collecting federal student loan payments and interest in the final days of August.

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