Owens, Foxx: Secretary Cardona, Show Us Your Plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee Chairman Burgess Owens (UT-04) and Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (NC-05) sent a letter to Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona questioning whether the Department is ready to restart student loan repayments.

In the letter, Reps. Foxx and Owens write: “As you know, on March 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education’s (‘ED’) Federal Student Aid began ‘providing temporary relief on [ED]-managed [f]ederal student loans by allowing students to opt into a temporary suspension of loan payments and instituting a 0 percent interest rate.’ The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (‘CARES Act’) extended relief through September 30, 2020, and multiple extensions have been granted since that date. Not quite two years later, on August 24, 2022, the Biden administration announced its massive student debt relief plan which is now the subject of litigation in the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Reps. Foxx and Owens continue: “In addition, a little over four months ago, ED announced that ‘payments will resume 60 days after the Department is permitted to implement the program or the litigation is resolved, which will give the Supreme Court an opportunity to resolve the case during its current Term.’ If the administration’s debt relief plan has not been implemented and the litigation has not been resolved by June 30, 2023, payments will resume 60 days thereafter.”

The members conclude by questioning the Department’s preparedness for the restart of student loan payments:

  • Does ED have a detailed plan for the restart of payments?
  • Has ED shared the plan with student loan servicers?
  • What is the total amount by which the Department has cut servicers compensation since October 1, 2022?
  • How much has been spent to carry out waivers for loan forgiveness programs and the President’s debt relief plan? 

To read the full letter, click here.


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