Assistant Democratic Leader Clyburn delivers remarks on Republicans plan to repeal student loan debt relief

May 25, 2023

Today, Assistant Democratic Leader delivered the following remarks on H.J. Res 45, a joint resolution of disapproval that would repeal President Joe Biden’s student loan debt relief plan and reverse the student loan payment pause for the period of September 2022 to December 2022.

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As prepared for delivery

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today because my colleagues across the aisle are once again seeking to put Politics Over People and inflict undue economic harm—this time by denying them much-needed student loan debt relief.

“President Biden’s targeted student loan debt relief plan is designed to help low- and middle- income borrowers, with 90% of the relief going to those earning less than $75,000 per year. In my home state of South Carolina, over 680,000 borrowers are eligible, of which over 67% are Pell Grant recipients. Over 48,000 borrowers in my District alone have been fully approved for relief.

“If enacted, House Joint Resolution 45 will rescind life-changing relief for hardworking borrowers, renege on the payment pause by forcing them to pay several months of installments with interest, and claw back earned credit from public servants towards the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. For many, this will mean thousands of dollars in payments with little to no notice. Cruelty seems to be the point.

“Mr. Speaker, President Biden’s student loan debt relief plan will help alleviate the yoke of student loan debt for millions of Americans. Challenges to the program—both in court and posed by those in Congress—are meritless.

“Higher education shouldn’t be a luxury for a privileged few. Borrowers deserve our help and I urge my colleagues to vote down this resolution.

“I yield back the balance of my time.”