Two Democrats Support Resolution to Stop Student Loan Debt Forgiveness
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- The vote was the first time lawmakers have been forced to take a side on the student loan debt forgiveness plan.
- Fourteen members of the U.S. House of Representatives abstained from the vote.
- Two Democrats voted alongside their Republican colleagues to stop the forgiveness plan.
- No Republicans voted to allow President Biden's plan to move forward.
A pair of U.S. House millennials stepped across the aisle to support a measure that would block President Joe Biden's one-time student loan debt forgiveness plan.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted Wednesday to pass a measure that would strike down Biden's plan to erase up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower making less than $125,000 per year. While the Republican-controlled House didn't need Democratic support to pass the resolution, "Yea" votes from two Democrats helped the measure pass the House 218-203.
The two Democrats voting in favor of the resolution included:
- Rep. Jared Golden, Maine
- Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez, Washington
The resolution is unlikely to have any actual impact on Biden's debt forgiveness plan. Even if it were to pass through the U.S. Senate, where Democrats hold a slim majority, the president has already announced his intention to veto the measure if it reaches the Oval Office.
Still, the vote was notable because it was the first time lawmakers had been forced to take a side on the issue.
No Republicans, meanwhile, voted against the resolution introduced by Rep. Robert Good of Virginia in late March.
Fourteen members of the House of Representatives abstained from the vote. That included six Republicans and eight Democrats.
The Republicans who did not vote included:
- Rep. Jay Obernolte, California
- Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, Florida
- Rep. Mike Simpson, Idaho
- Rep. Patrick McHenry, North Carolina
- Rep. Andrew Ogles, Tennessee
- Rep. Alexander Mooney, West Virginia
The Democrats who did not vote included:
- Rep. Grace Napolitano, California
- Rep. Juan Vargas, California
- Rep. Hank Johnson, Georgia
- Rep. Chuy García, Illinois
- Rep. Mike Quigley, Illinois
- Rep. Jake Auchincloss, Massachusetts
- Rep. Mary Scanlon, Pennsylvania
- Rep. Donald Beyer, Virginia
Reps. Golden and Pérez — the two Democrats who voted in favor of the resolution — did not issue statements about their votes as of Thursday morning.
Advocacy groups calling for debt forgiveness were quick to criticize Golden's and Pérez's votes.
The Debt Collective pointed out on Twitter that a business co-owned by Pérez had nearly $64,000 in loans forgiven through the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in 2020. According to a photo posted by the Debt Collective, that loan helped support seven jobs, and all loan funds went toward payroll expenses.
Not long after the vote, Golden and Pérez announced they were teaming up to rebuild the Blue Dog Coalition, a fiscally conservative Democratic caucus within the House of Representatives. Rep. Mary Peltola of Alaska joined the duo in the announcement, but she voted against the resolution to block Biden's debt forgiveness plan Wednesday.