Comer, Foxx challenge Biden's student loan forgiveness program

 May 13, 2023

When President Joe Biden announced his intention to establish a federal student loan forgiveness program, many predicted that such a program could result in fraud. 

According to the Washington Examiner, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY), joined by House Education and Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), penned a letter to Biden's education secretary demanding to know the risks of fraud regarding the program.

They noted that the income-driven repayment side of the program could lead to fraud, given that income verification is currently not required.

Biden's loan forgiveness program has been in and out of legal battles since it was announced.

Comer's concerns

Comer has never been a fan of the idea of the program, like most other Republicans.

In the letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, Comer and Foxx held nothing back as they noted their concerns regarding how the program works, and how it's just waiting to be abused.

"In light of the Oversight Committee’s observations about self-certification in multiple COVID-19 pandemic relief programs, we are concerned about the extent to which the Department is leaving taxpayers vulnerable to waste, fraud, and abuse," they wrote.

"The Biden Administration’s student loan bailout scheme leaves taxpayers holding the bag," Comer told the Washington Examiner in a statement.

The Kentucky Republican added: "Biden’s Department of Education has now kicked the door wide open to waste, fraud, and abuse by eliminating verification measures designed to prevent fraud in student loan repayments. We need Secretary Cardona to provide answers about why the Department is taking actions that make hardworking taxpayers liable when student loan borrowers misrepresent their income."

Foxx agrees

Foxx, in a statement to the Examiner, echoed the same concerns, noting that the lack of an income verification method will undoubtedly lead to fraud, for which taxpayers will be on the hook.

"When borrowers initially enrolled in an [income-driven repayment] plan, they provided tax return information," Foxx told the Examiner.

She added: "It’s ridiculous for the Department to not enforce the program requirements. This decision calls into question the department’s motives and its overall preparedness to handle the return to repayment for millions of borrowers."

The two lawmakers also challenged the authority to change the income verification requirements.

Only time will tell if Biden's student loan forgiveness program holds up, but Republicans appear to be doing everything they can to put the brakes on it as quickly as possible.


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