U.S. Sen. Rick Scott wants to invoke the Pelosi Rule: Make Congress vote on student-loan debt relief.
This week, the Florida Republican advocated for congressional consideration of his Debt Cancellation Accountability Act.
Under Scott’s bill, mass student-loan relief would be prohibited unless Congress appropriated money for it, or the administration explained why it was necessary and requested the funding.
The measure says the Department of Education secretary must spell out to Congress the number of borrowers affected by a relief policy and the total amount they owe. The department must also explain why the debts will be erased, and what legal authority permits that.
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Scott’s bill recalls House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s comment from a year ago when President Joe Biden first considered waiving part of the $1.7 trillion debt owed by current and former college students.
“People think that the president of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness,” the San Francisco Democrat said in July 2021. “He does not. He can postpone. He can delay. But he does not have that power. That has to be an act of Congress.”
As The Free Press has reported, this week 94 House Republicans sent Pelosi a letter demanding that she abide by her own words and force Biden to come to Congress for his relief plan.
And as The Free Press has also noted, some economists have said Biden’s plan to cancel up to $20,000 of the debt of borrowers who make up to $125,000 a year could cost $1 trillion – or four times as much as the administration claimed.
In promoting his latest bill, Scott said this week: “President Biden and Democrats in Washington have turned their backs on hardworking American families.”
“First, Biden and the Democrats used a totally partisan process to give the IRS $80 BILLION to hire more than 87,000 new agents, an unknown number of which will be armed, to go after families and small businesses. Now, President Biden is doubling down on his abandonment of working Americans by issuing an illegal order to use hundreds of billions of YOUR tax dollars to ‘forgive’ the loans of college-educated individuals who voluntarily took on debt to finance their education.”
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“The American people, who are already struggling to keep up with Biden’s raging inflation crisis, are disgusted with the Democrats’ dangerous, socialist agenda and demanding action,” Scott continued. “Republicans must stand united to repeal the IRS supersizing and pass my bill to force every member of Congress to go on the record for student loan forgiveness.”
“I will be fighting tooth and nail to get these votes. Families in Florida and across the country will not tolerate more radical government overreach, and I will do whatever it takes to deliver the accountability they deserve.”
Scott last month also introduced a bill to force colleges to pay for some of the student-loan debt.
According to a Free Press report from earlier his week, Scott’s Changing Our Learning, Loans, Endowments, and Graduation Expectations, or COLLEGE, Act would require colleges to ensure students are working toward degrees that would help them land good jobs to make them self-sufficient, including repaying loans.
Scott also would make colleges repay a portion of the debt if borrowers default, and make super-wealthy schools dip into their endowments to cover some or most of students’ financial aid if they receive government help.
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The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Free Press.
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