After the proposal reportedly passed a significant procedural test in the Senate, the body decided to vote primarily along partisan lines on Thursday to reject President Joe Biden’s plan to reduce student loan debt.
The proposal, which would terminate President Biden’s debt relief program and put a stop to the administration’s moratorium on federal student loan payments, was approved 52-46 a day after senators voted in a closely contested manner to move forward with it.
On both the motion to take up the proposal and the final approval vote, a small group of moderate senators—Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana, as well as independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona—voted with the Republicans.
To approve the measure and deliver it to Biden, only a simple majority of senators was required. But the White House forewarned that Biden would veto the measure in a Statement of Administration Policy last month.
The proposal would end the administration’s policy of canceling loans worth up to $10,000 for borrowers whose income is below a specific threshold and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients.
Republicans have contended that the student debt forgiveness program of the Biden administration taxes taxpayers and is unjust to people who paid off debts they had taken out or to those who did not go to college.
According to the unbiased Congressional Budget Office, ending the program would reduce the federal deficit by around $315 billion over the following ten years.