This story has been updated.
Negotiations between Senate Republicans and the White House continue today as GOP leaders attempt to craft a second stimulus bill. At this time, however, there is no indication that the proposal will include additional relief for student loan borrowers.
Here is where it stands:
- Senate and White House negotiators have apparently agreed to put a payroll tax cut proposal on hold.
- Unemployment benefits can be extended “on the basis of approximately 70% wage replacement”, according to Secretary of the Treasury Mnuchin.
- There may be a second round of dunning checks, but the exact amount of those dunning checks – along with any applicable income restrictions – is still being worked out.
- According to New York Times, a work proposal would include more than $ 105 billion for education-related spending, most of which would be reserved for K-12 schools, and much of it would be conditional on schools reopening for physical and in-person instruction. .
So far, no chief Republican negotiator in the Senate or the White House has indicated that student loan relief will be included in the stimulus package.
However, the situation remains very fluid and lawmakers are far from finalizing a package. According to Washington post, there is still no Republican consensus on several key elements of the stimulus proposal, and the release of a final package could be delayed until next week. Some Republican lawmakers have proposed breaking up the stimulus package into smaller components, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (whose members are expected to approve any stimulus package passed by the Senate) has already rejected this approach.
Outside of stimulus negotiations, Republican lawmakers have only proposed two recent student loan initiatives:
- Senator Lamar Alexander has offers reform the current student loan repayment system by allowing only two repayment plans: an income-based option that is similar to existing income-based repayment plans, and a standard 10-year repayment plan. However, this proposal is similar to the one he offered last year, and would be brings no significant new relief to student loan borrowers because it largely replicates existing income-oriented repayment plans. Politics reports that Senator Alexander’s proposal could be included in the GOP stimulus bill.
- A Republican congressman has introduced a law extend the CARES statute of suspension of federal student loan payments, interest and collections until December 31, 2020. However, this is a much shorter extension than that proposed by House Democrats in the HEROES Act and related legislation, which suspend all student loan payments and interest for an additional 12 months.
Meanwhile, House Democrats recently passed a law providing a $ 10,000 rebate for private student loans for each borrower. However, it is highly unlikely that the Senate will adopt this measure or include it in its stimulus proposal.