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H.R. 7058: Federal Student Loan Integrity Act


The text of the bill below is as of Mar 11, 2022 (Introduced).

Summary of this bill

Fittingly, they want to end a freeze right as the weather is finally warming up.

Context

Shortly after the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the federal government froze student loan payments.

First done in March 2020, the freeze was extended several times across both the Republican Donald Trump and Democratic Joe Biden administrations. The most recent extension was granted in December 2021, through May 1, 2022.

As that deadline approaches, Biden’s Education Department recently hinted that they may extend the freeze once again. Some on the left are advocating the administration continue the freeze into 2023. Some of the party’s most left-leaning members, such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are …


I

117th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 7058

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 11, 2022

(for himself and Mr. Banks) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor

A BILL

To prohibit abuse of the authority of the Secretary of Education under the HEROES Act in connection with the COVID–19 national emergency declaration, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Federal Student Loan Integrity Act.

2.

Purpose; findings

(a)

Purpose

It is the purpose of this Act to—

(1)

clarify the intent of Congress with respect to the authorities provided to the Secretary of Education under the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003 (20 U.S.C. 1098bb) (in this section referred to as the HEROES Act); and

(2)

prevent further abuse of the Secretary’s authority provided under the HEROES Act in connection with the COVID–19 national emergency declaration.

(b)

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

As of March 13, 2020, there has been a moratorium on payments, accrual of interest, and collections on all Federal student loans.

(2)

The moratorium is the largest benefit provided by taxpayers in the history of the Federal student loan program.

(3)

Excluding section 3513 of the CARES Act (20 U.S.C. 1001 note), this benefit was not explicitly authorized by Congress.

(4)

Since December 4, 2020, the Secretary of Education has cited the HEROES Act as the authority to extend the moratorium on student loan payments for affected individuals, in connection with the March 13, 2020, national emergency declaration.

(5)

The Secretary has undermined the intent of Congress and abused its authority provided by the HEROES Act to amend statutory provisions of title IV of the Higher Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1070 et seq.) to provide benefits for borrowers beyond those deemed as affected individuals.

3.

Prohibition

The Secretary of Education may not use the authority under section 2(a)(1) of the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003 (20 U.S.C. 1098bb(a)(1)) to issue a waiver or modification, or to extend a waiver or modification issued before the effective date of this Act, of any statutory or regulatory provision applicable to the student financial assistance programs under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070 et seq.) in connection with the national emergency declared by the President on March 13, 2020, pursuant to the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) (Proclamation 9994).

4.

Limitation on waivers and modifications

Section 2(a)(1) of the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003 (20 U.S.C. 1098bb(a)(1)) is amended—

(1)

by striking Notwithstanding and inserting the following:

(A)

Authority of Secretary

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), notwithstanding

; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following:

(B)

Limitation

A waiver or modification under paragraph (1) may not—

(i)

provide for a period that exceeds 30 days during which—

(I)

payments of principal or interest due on loans made, insured, or guaranteed under part B, D, or E of title IV of the Act are suspended; or

(II)

interest does not accrue on such loans; or

(ii)

result in the discharge or cancellation of a loan made, insured, or guaranteed under part B, D, or E of title IV of the Act.

.

5.

Effective date

This Act, and the amendments made by this Act, shall take effect on May 1, 2022.