In sports, sometimes the best defense is a good offense. Apparently, the same can also be true in politics.
A group of Senate Republicans is leading a proactive effort to prohibit President Biden from unilaterally enacting student debt “cancelation” via executive fiat, as the White House is reportedly considering.
The Daily Caller’s Henry Rodgers broke the news of this legislative effort.
EXCLUSIVE: Rick Scott, Senate Republicans Introduce Legislation To Prevent Mass Cancellation Of Student Loan Debt
Read my latest here first: https://t.co/kTRtHyCPaR
— Henry Rodgers (@henryrodgersdc) June 28, 2022
Here’s how it would work.
Under the Constitution, Congress is supposed to have the “power of the purse” and ultimate control over how taxpayer money is spent. Student debt “cancelation” really means federal taxpayers absorb the loss, so it’s akin to spending hundreds of billions to trillions of tax dollars, depending on the plan’s specifics.
However, forcing working class taxpayers to pay off affluent Americans’ student loans isn’t politically popular, so it can’t get through Congress despite it being a top priority for the Democratic Party. In a cheap, probably unconstitutional workaround, prominent progressives have called on the president to just try to “cancel” student debt via executive order.
If the new legislation from Senators Rick Scott, Mike Braun, Cynthia Lummis, and other fiscally-conservative Republicans is passed, that option gets preemptively taken off the table. Their bill, The Debt Cancellation Accountability Act, would explicitly require a vote from Congress before tax dollars could go to a large scale student loan bailout.
This would mean student debt cancelation, for the time being, is dead in its tracks—and that’s a good thing.
“Canceling” student loans might sound nice at first glance, but it’s actually wildly regressive, primarily helping the affluent at all taxpayers’ expense. One study even found that the top 20% would receive 6 times more benefit than the bottom 20%! What’s more, a student loan bailout completely fails to address the real root causes of obscenely high tuition prices, like the federal government’s dysfunctional subsidies.
What’s not to love about legislation that would block bad policy and re-assert the Constitution’s separation of powers?