As the Republican-led Senate works to carve out a potential path forward for the HEALS Act, the House passed a resolution to cancel a significant amount of student loan debt back on July 21. According to Forbes, the proposal came from Rep. Madeleine Dean, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, who would cancel private student loan debt up to $10,000.
"We can't ignore private student loan borrowers that are suffering," Dean tweeted back on July 20. "My amendment currently being debated on the floor would provide up to $10,000 in immediate relief to the roughly 4.5 million private student loan borrowers. This amendment is good for borrowers and our economy." While the CARES Act provided a freeze on student loan interest and suspended payments, private student loan borrowers were not included.
Dean's proposal comes as a number of left-leaning lawmakers have been offering similar proposals as a means to try and push through some form of student loan relief. Senator Elizabeth Warren and likely Democratic nominee Joe Biden have pushed for $10,000 in student debt forgiveness, while other Democrats in the House want a full $30,000 forgiven per borrower. Senators Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey have proposed an additional bill that would give individuals the $2,000, and then another $2,000 for every dependent, totaling up to $6,000.
There's also the HEROES Act, which the House passed back in May, that would extend the suspension on student loan payments and interest through Sept. 30, 2021. Although it has a much narrower plan for student loan forgiveness. Republicans, who have had other ideas about student loan relief, have not been welcoming of such proposals. Republican Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer from Montana even accused Democrats of trying to "socialize all student debt."
Currently, there's no student loan forgiveness written into the HEALS Act, though that could change. Much of the bill is being based on the CARES Act, which put a hiatus on Student Loan payments while freezing interest back in March. Republicans, however, want to restart payments and will try to utilize the HEALS Act to do so.
Congress has until Aug. 7 to pass a stimulus package before their upcoming recess, which would leave anxious constituents without a means of support as the coronavirus pandemic continues to surge through the U.S. As of Monday, there had been little progress due to largely partisan gridlock.