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Speaker Kevin McCarthy said on Sunday described the student loan payment pause as “gone” as part of the debt ceiling deal announced by the California Republican and President Biden late Saturday night.
“The pause is gone within 60 days of this being signed. So that is another victory because that brings in $5 billion each month to the American public,” McCarthy told anchor Shannon Bream on “Fox News Sunday.”
McCarthy’s remarks came after he and Biden came to an agreement in principle late Saturday to cap spending and raise the debt ceiling.
“What the president did, he went unconstitutionally and said he was going to waive certain people part of their debt for student loan[s], but then he paused everybody’s student loan. So everybody who borrowed a student loan within 60 days of the signing is going to have to pay that back,” McCarthy said on Sunday.
“The Supreme Court is taking up that case. But if the Supreme Court came back and said that was unconstitutional, the president could still say he’s pausing, not waiving it. But now that this is in law, the Supreme Court decision will have to be upheld, that they would have to pay,” he added.
The Biden administration has already indicated that borrowers should expect the student loan payment pause, instituted at the start of the pandemic, would be coming to an end but the timing of that depends on how the Supreme Court might rule in the next month on a case challenging a student loan forgiveness program. Should a pause on payments come to an end under the debt deal, it would mean student loan payments could restart about a month earlier than expected this year.
Biden said in November that payments would resume either 60 days after the Supreme Court rules on his student loan forgiveness plan — which would permanently eliminate some debt — or 60 days after June 30 when the court’s term ends, whichever came first.
A source familiar with the negotiations told The Hill that the administration was able to protect its ability to pause student loan payments in the future in the case of an emergency, but also codifies the administration’s plans to end the pause on loans at the end of the summer. The source said the deal also protects an income-driven repayment plan option for borrowers making certain salaries.
McCarthy said Saturday that the text of the bill could be released Sunday, with a vote expected in the House as soon as Wednesday.