HELP Ranking Member Burr Statement on Biden’s Illegal Student Loan Debt Cancelation

August 24, 2022

Today, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement on President Biden’s announcement that he intends to cancel broad swaths of federal student loan debt, transferring more than $300 billion of debt onto American taxpayers:

“President Biden’s announcement that he intends to cancel student loan debt is irresponsible, unfair, and deeply cynical. He’s asking taxpayers to subsidize debt held by some of America’s highest earners in order to court votes. Every American who paid back their student loans, who put themselves through school by saving and working extra jobs, or who chose not to go to college at all should be outraged right now.

“This move will not solve sky high college tuitions. This will pour fuel on the fire, increasing college prices and accelerating inflation. It will encourage more schools to increase costs and encourage more students to take out loans they cannot pay back in the hopes they’ll never have to do so. The President knows he does not have the legal authority to unilaterally cancel student loan debt, but is ignoring the law and bipartisan opposition in Congress. I urge the Senate to pass the Student Loan Accountability Act, which would make Congress’ intent clear and prevent future sweeping, unilateral loan cancelation from this Administration.”

On May 18, 2022, Senator Burr, along with Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT), Tim Scott (R-SC), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), and Thom Tillis (R-NC), introduced the Student Loan Accountability Act, legislation to prohibit the Biden Administration from cancelling student loan debt.

Senator Burr has blasted the Biden Administration for repeatedly extending the student loan repayment freeze, which was intended as an emergency relief measure at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The repeated extensions have cost taxpayers $4.5 billion per month and added $103.5 billion to our national debt to date, according to the Congressional Budget Office.