06.02.21

Burr, Foxx Call on Secretary Cardona to Create Reactivation Plan for Student Loan Payments Following COVID-19 Repayment Freeze

Today, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), the Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC), the Ranking Member of House Education and Labor Committee, sent a letter to Secretary Cardona requesting an update on the Department of Education’s plan to transition student loan borrowers from the repayment freeze in effect during the COVID-19 pandemic to an active repayment status.

The Members urged the Secretary to not extend the repayment freeze, which cost the Department $40 billion in FY2020.

In the letter, the Members write:

“Another extension of the temporary pandemic student loan benefit would be unnecessary and actively work against the interests of students and taxpayers. The loan pause through executive action has cost taxpayers $40 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2020. These costs do not include the costs that have accrued for FY 2021, or the $63 billion in loan re-estimates added to the program costs in FY 2020 due to previously unanticipated levels of forgiveness.

“Your recently released FY 2022 budget documents estimate that the loan pause currently set to expire at the end of FY 2021 will cost an additional $36 billion to taxpayers. Further, for FY 2021 the Department’s budget documents indicate that there will be another re-estimate in costs due to unanticipated levels of forgiveness in the future, currently estimated to cost $53 billion. 

“Millions of families will depend on the Department’s ability to reactivate the frozen loan portfolio. Your job is to plan and execute a seamless transition, which we expect you have been preparing for since you were confirmed in March.”

To read the full letter, click here.