WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC), chairwoman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, released statements following the Department of Education (ED) Secretary Miguel Cardona and his staff stonewalling multiple requests for a member-level briefing on the Biden administration’s plans to return student loan borrowers to repayment. The lawmakers are now reviewing legal options to get answers for the American people.
“This stonewalling is unacceptable. The Biden administration has had years to prepare for borrowers to return to repayment and are either refusing to show their plan or worse, they have no plan at all,” said Dr. Cassidy. “The Department doesn’t get to ignore their job and then escape accountability. Inaction by the Department will only harm the 43 million student loan borrowers they oversee.”
“For more than two years this Department has known it will need to return 43 million borrowers to repayment and it is clear there is still no plan to accomplish that. It is sadly unsurprising that the tramplers of the Constitution at the Department continue repugnantly abdicating their responsibility to respond to Congress, further revealing their lack of respect for Congress and ultimately the borrowers they claim to care about.” said Representative Foxx. “Given the Department’s disgraceful, untransparent record, it is obvious that additional steps will be necessary to get answers for the American people, including subpoenas and depositions. I recommend Department staff clear their calendars.”
On June 27th, Cassidy and Foxx requested an in-person briefing—to be conducted no later than July 20, 2023—on the Biden administration’s plan to return millions of borrowers to repayment. In addition, both members requested materials relating to this meeting 10 days prior. The administration failed to comply with both requests.
Earlier that month, Cassidy along with U.S. Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) urged Secretary Cardona to abandon the agency’s unfair student loan schemes and instead focus on preparing borrowers and loan servicers to resume student loan repayments. The senators’ letter also requests information regarding how much staff time and taxpayer dollars have gone toward setting up and carrying out the Biden administration’s student loan agenda. To date, the administration has not provided a response.