Scott, Senate Colleagues Unveil Landmark Package to Lower Education Costs and Student Debt

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) joined Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) in introducing the groundbreaking Lowering Education Costs and Debt Act, a package of five bills aimed at directly addressing the issues driving the skyrocketing cost of higher education and the increasing amounts of debt students take on to attend school.  

This legislation pushes back on President Biden’s attempt to enact his student debt cancelation scheme, which would transfer up to $20,000 in student loan debt per borrower onto taxpayers, totaling an estimated $400 billion. Biden’s scheme does nothing to address the underlying cause of the debt crisis, which would lead to Americans with student loans returning to the same level of debt in 5 years, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.  

“Education is the closest thing to magic in America. Ensuring access to an affordable, high-quality education – from grade school to post-secondary – is the key to a brighter future,” said Senator Scott. “President Biden continues to push his illegal and unconstitutional student loan scheme, which forces hard working Americans to shoulder debt they never signed up for. In stark contrast, this groundbreaking, conservative package attacks the root cause of skyrocketing student loan debt, seeks to drive down the cost of education, and sets all students up to succeed.”

“Our federal higher education financing system contributes more to the problem than the solution. Colleges and universities using the availability of federal loans to increase their tuitions have left too many students drowning in debt without a path for success,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Unlike President Biden’s student loan schemes, this plan addresses the root causes of the student debt crisis. It puts downward pressure on tuition and empowers students to make the educational decisions that put them on track to academically and financially succeed.”  

“Iowans understand that when you take out a loan, you have a responsibility to pay it back. The Biden administration’s plan to forgive student debt would only transfer the burden of repayment onto American taxpayers, costing them billions of dollars. That’s an outrageous approach to the student debt crisis. It’s as effective as closing the barn door after the horses have already gotten out,” said Senator Grassley. “Our legislative package takes a proactive approach by informing students and their families of their best options, and I’m proud to see my legislation included in the package.”   

“Student loan repayment should not fall on the backs of hardworking American taxpayers, and students should not be getting federal loans for degrees that don’t result in better-paying jobs,” said Senator Cornyn. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in supporting this legislation to streamline this confusing system, save students money, and ensure higher education is accessible to Americans without an out-of-touch loan cancellation scheme.” 

“More and more of our students are paying more to get less,” said Senator Tuberville. “Over my four decades as a Coach, I watched prices go up and academic achievement go down all across our nation, and that was one of the reasons I ran for Senate. Today, Senate Republicans are putting forward a plan that would ease the burden on the taxpayer, and especially ease the burden on young people starting out. This legislation would be the first step to ensuring that America’s future generations get a better deal.”  

Summary of the Lowering Education Costs and Debt Act:

  • Creates downward pressure on the cost of colleges and universities that have used the availability of federal loans to artificially increase their prices, leading students to take out rising amounts of debt;   
  • Provides students and families with better information to choose the right school and program of   study to achieve the best return on investment for them;
  • Ensures borrowers can navigate student loan repayment options without unnecessary confusion; and 
  • Guides students against taking on debt to attend programs that do not translate to higher-paying job opportunities.  

Senator Scott’s advocacy on behalf of students includes:

  • Supporting a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overturn President Biden’s student loan cancelation scheme which would end the pause on student loan payments and will have cost Americans a total of $195 billion by the time the most recent Biden extension is set to expire in August of 2023; 
  • Writing a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona seeking answers about federal employees potentially receiving refunds for student loan payments that the federal government made on their behalf;
  • Fighting against President Biden’s Biden’s $300 Billion Student Loan Plan; 
  • Supporting the Student Loan Accountability Act, legislation to prohibit the Biden administration from cancelling student loan debt, a move which would add up to $1.7 trillion to the national debt, further fueling inflation; and
  • Championing the Student Loan Disclosure Modernization Act, which seeks to increase transparency for those looking to acquire student loans on a federal level – providing applicants with a clear and succinct disclosure form, and empowering them to be responsible borrowers.