House Set To Pass Bill Helping Domestic Violence Survivors Escape Abusers' Debts

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WASHINGTON – The House is poised to walk a bipartisan measure this week to assistance pupil indebtedness recipients flight debts incurred by abusive spouses.

The Senate unanimously approved the authorities successful June, truthful House transition would nonstop the measure to President Joe Biden’s desk.

Congress antecedently allowed pupil borrowers to consolidate their loans with a spouse, but for years did not let them to abstracted the loans if their circumstances changed. That resulted successful thousands of borrowers efficaciously getting stuck with a indebtedness they didn’t incur themselves.

“The measure we person earlier america contiguous is simple. It closes the loophole and allows the separation of loans,” said Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) astatine a House Rules Committee proceeding Monday afternoon.

“Victims of home unit oregon economical maltreatment should ne'er person to wage the debts of their abuser,” helium added. “Closing this loophole is conscionable communal sense.”

Bill sponsor Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) has told the communicative of a constituent, a azygous ma named Sara, whose estranged ex-husband refused to wage disconnected his portion of their consolidated loan.

“Sara faced the menace of having her wages arsenic a nationalist schoolhouse teacher garnished if she did not wage some her and her ex-husband’s portions of their debt,” Warner’s bureau said successful a connection erstwhile the Senate passed the bill.

Advocates for survivors of home violence, including the National Network to End Domestic Violence, endorsed the legislation.

The measure represents a humble tweak to pupil indebtedness argumentation aft Biden said helium would unilaterally hitch retired pupil indebtedness connected a immense scale. Once the caller forgiveness argumentation takes effect, the White House has said that arsenic galore arsenic 43 cardinal radical could benefit, with borrowers who received Pell Grants qualifying for up to $20,000 successful indebtedness cancellation. There are lone astir 14,000 outstanding consolidated spousal loans, by contrast.

Though the measure had bipartisan backing successful the Senate, wherever it passed without adjacent a rotation telephone vote, House Republicans connected the Rules Committee said it needed to beryllium changed earlier going to the White House for Biden’s signature.

Specifically, they said the measure would instrumentality excessively agelong for the Department of Education to implement, would grow the relation of authorities successful pupil loans and could beryllium exploited by abusers.

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), the ranking subordinate connected the House Education and Labor Committee, said arsenic presently written, the measure would let either enactment successful a associated consolidated indebtedness to record for a caller loan, perchance leaving their spouse with small power implicit however overmuch each would beryllium connected the archetypal indebtedness balance.

“In immoderate cases, this could permission the abused spouse with an economical load that doesn’t beryllium to that person,” she said.

Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), the president of the Education and Labor Committee, said the look successful the measure would marque it elemental to fig retired what stock of indebtedness goes to whom.

“If we amend it, and perchance adjacent marque it worse, it goes implicit to the Senate and who knows what happens, if the timepiece ever starts oregon if we spot the measure again,” helium said.

McGovern said if not for House GOP objections, the measure could person been rapidly passed arsenic portion of a radical of routine, non-controversial bills the House votes connected each week, skipping the Rules Committee.

“It’s conscionable frustrating that we’re here,” helium said.

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