WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released a statement following a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that the Biden administration was prepared to transfer $430 billion in student loan debt onto taxpayers with few guardrails to verify borrowers’ income to determine eligibility for student debt cancelation. This prior debt cancelation effort was part of Biden’s previous student loan scheme, which would have transferred up to $20,000 in student loan debt per borrower onto taxpayers. This past June, the Supreme Court blocked Biden’s student debt cancelation scheme.
Despite the Department of Education (ED) establishing minimum income eligibility requirements for their student loan cancelation program, the GAO report shows that the ED had insufficient plans to verify that the borrowers were eligible for cancelation. Additionally, GAO found that ED was prepared to automatically cancel loans based solely on self-reported income. The report also showed that out of 26.3 million borrowers who applied or were deemed automatically eligible, only 790,000 borrowers would have their income reviewed.
“It is unconscionable that the Biden administration was willing to shift hundreds of billions of dollars of student debt onto taxpayers with no accountability,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Americans who did not go to college or paid off their loans should not be stuck paying the bill for those who went to college to make more money after graduation.”