President Biden on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would have put an end to his student debt relief program.
The legislation was passed last Thursday in the Senate 52-46, largely along partisan lines, although Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana as well as independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona voted with Republicans in support of the measure.
The same measure passed in the House the week prior by a 218-203, also largely along party lines, with two Democrats—Reps. Jared Golden of Maine and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez of Washington—joining Republicans in that chamber.
The resolution, known as HJR 45, was aimed at repealing the Biden Addministration’s program to cancel up to $10,000 in loans for borrowers whose income falls below certain levels and up to $20,000 for those who received Pell Grants.
Republicans have argued that the Biden administration’s student debt forgiveness program burdens taxpayers and is unfair to those who paid off loans they borrowed or those who did not attend college.
In a Statement of Administration Policy last month, Biden had promised to veto the bill if passed by the Congress, asserting that the move would “weaken America’s middle class.”
In a statement Wednesday, Biden said, “It is a shame for working families across the country that lawmakers continue to pursue this unprecedented attempt to deny critical relief to millions of their own constituents, even as several of these same lawmakers have had tens of thousands of dollars of their own business loans forgiven by the Federal Government.”
According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the forgiveness of student debt from some 26 million borrowers would amount to roughly $400 billion over 30 years.
Wednesday’s was the fifth of Biden’s Presidency.