[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA) led their Congressional colleagues in introducing the Strengthening Loan Forgiveness for Public Servants Act today. This bicameral legislation would provide student debt relief to public health workers, teachers, and others who dedicate their careers to public service. Many of these public servants have been playing a central role in helping communities across the country respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“By lifting the weight of student debt, this legislation repays a debt of gratitude we owe to our country’s public servants,” said Blumenthal. “First responders, health workers, and other public servants risk their lives and make endless daily sacrifices for the sake of our communities. Expanding opportunities to ease their financial burdens is well-deserved and rightly earned.”
“Americans who honorably serve our communities deserve relief from crushing student loan debt,” said Swalwell. “Young people shouldn’t be dissuaded from pursuing a career in public service due to a debilitating monthly student loan payment. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLFP) incentivizes a public service career, but it takes too long to help many people with debt. The Strengthening Loan Forgiveness for Public Servants Act will help graduates who devote their careers to public service by ensuring they receive loan forgiveness in proportion to their years of public service.”
The bill expands the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLFP) to provide meaningful student debt relief to those in public service. It would eliminate uncertainty for borrowers, and further incentivize public service by allowing borrowers to receive forgiveness for their loans in qualifying intervals. It also provides support for public servants and frontline workers whose employment may have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This legislation is also co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-MN), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in the Senate, and U.S. Representatives Brendan Boyle (D-PA), Diana DeGette (D-CO), John Garamendi (D-CA), Jahana Hayes (D-CT), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), and Bobby Rush (D-IL) in the House.
The text of the Senate version of the bill is available here. The House introduced a similar version of the legislation.