President Joe Biden didn’t give up after the Supreme Court ruled against his student debt relief plan. He immediately launched a new plan to lighten the burden of student loans for millions of people. This week, that plan survived an effort to vote it down in the Senate.
Conservative Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin joined with Senate Republicans on a Congressional Review Act resolution that would have killed the program.
The first stage of the Saving on a Valuable Education plan increased the amount of income protected from repayment, “guaranteeing that no borrower earning under 225% of the federal poverty level—about the annual equivalent of a $15 minimum wage for a single borrower—will have to make a monthly payment under this plan,” according to a White House fact sheet. Additionally, borrowers who make their full monthly payment won't see the amount they owe increase—something that has happened to too many people for too long—because “If you make your full monthly payment, but it is not enough to cover the accrued monthly interest, the government covers the rest of the interest that accrued that month.”
The next stage of SAVE is set to go into effect in July 2024, including monthly payments being cut from 10% of discretionary income to 5%. Not only that:
Borrowers with original principal balances of $12,000 or less will receive forgiveness of any remaining balance after making ten years of payments, with the maximum repayment period before forgiveness rising by one year for every additional $1,000 borrowed. The maximum repayment period is capped at 20 years for those with only undergraduate loans and 25 years for those with any graduate school loans.
This plan makes people much, much less likely to fall behind on their loans or to be paying off student debt in retirement.
Senate Republicans and Manchin did not like this, even though it still involves people (except those below 225% of the poverty level) making regular monthly payments for a minimum of a decade. But they were unable to end it.
Republicans are challenging labor leaders to fights and allegedly physically assaulting one another. Donald Trump says he will abolish reproductive rights entirely and is openly calling for the extermination of his detractors, referring to them as “vermin” on Veterans Day. The Republican Party has emerged from its corruption cocoon as a full-blown fascist movement.