House Education and Labor’s Virginia Foxx Calls for Oversight Hearing with Department of Education

The Center for Microeconomic DataU.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, ranking member of the House Committee on Education and Labor, is calling on the committee’s chair to hold an oversight hearing with department leaders.  

09/15/2022 11:25 A,M.

2.5 minute read

Congressional approval for the U.S. Department of Education’s student debt relief actions is needed before the House Education and Labor Committee, says its ranking member, U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C.

“As we have previously noted, this [c]ommittee is required to conduct rigorous oversight of the Department of Education,” Foxx said in a letter to House Education and Labor Committee Chair Robert Scott, D-Va. “In fact, you spent a significant amount of time in the 116th Congress conducting ‘oversight’ of the [d]epartment under the leadership of Secretary DeVos and President Trump. We hoped you would continue that record of vigorous oversight. Unfortunately, your support of the administration’s announcement to enact illegal so-called ‘loan forgiveness’ demonstrates that you are not willing to hold the [s]ecretary accountable for his abuse of authority. Further, your approval of the [s]ecretary’s dereliction of duty in continuing the pause on student loan repayments demonstrates your unwillingness, thus far, to provide adequate oversight of the [d]epartment.”

In response, Foxx is requesting a hearing with Federal Student Aid Chief Operating Officer Richard Cordray, General Counsel Lisa Brown, and Undersecretary James Kvaal “to discuss the authority for these actions, their plans to implement these actions, and any plans they have to finally end the student loan moratorium and return to regular operation,” according to the letter.

“These actions are too significant to allow the [s]ecretary to act without congressional approval,” Foxx said.

Latest Wave of Student Debt Relief

Here is what we know about the new relief plans and student loan forgiveness, ACA International previously reported.

Borrowers earning less than $125,000 per year will see loan forgiveness of up to $10,000 and the Biden administration will forgive $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients, making it the largest federal student loan forgiveness to date.

An analysis released by the Penn Wharton Budget Model said the forgiveness plan could total about $300 billion in costs initially and reach as much as $330 billion if the effort continues for new borrowers and others who would be eligible for forgiveness in the future.

The U.S. Department of Education, pending a decision on the student debt relief from Biden, has developed plans for implementation covering the president’s different proposals, Politico reports.

Foxx’s Request

In her letter, Foxx said the student debt relief through the remainder of the year will transfer those costs from Americans who have student loan debt to those who do not.

“It is time to shed the party loyalty and stand up for all the citizens in this nation,” Foxx said. “This must begin with congressional oversight over dubious executive actions. Speaker Pelosi was correct when she said, ‘People think that the [p]resident of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness. He does not. He can postpone, he can delay, but he does not have that power.’ This [c]ommittee should ensure the administration is following the law.”

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