Warren, Rubio Introduce Bill to Protect Jobs for Workers who Fall Behind on Student Loan Payments
Washington, DC - United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) today introduced the Protecting Job Opportunities for Borrowers (Protecting JOBs) Act, legislation that would help ensure borrowers are not inhibited from working solely because they fell behind on their federal student loan payments. Specifically, the Protecting JOBs Act would prevent states from suspending, revoking or denying state professional, teaching, or driver's licenses solely because borrowers are delinquent or go into default on their federal student loan payments. A one pager of the bill is available here.
"State governments punishing people struggling with student loans by taking away drivers' and professional licenses is wrong. These policies don't make sense, because they make it even harder for people to put food on the table and get out of debt," said Senator Warren. "I'm glad to work with Senator Rubio to make sure borrowers can work to pay off crushing debt and build a future."
"Difficulty repaying a student loan debt should not threaten a graduate's job. It makes no sense to revoke a professional license from someone who is trying to pay their student loans," said Senator Rubio. "Our bill would fix this 'catch-22' and ensure that borrowers are able to continue working to pay off their loans."
What the bill does: Beginning two years after enactment, this legislation would prevent states from suspending, revoking or denying state professional licenses solely because borrowers are behind on their federal student loan payments. The bill achieves this goal by using the same statutory structure that requires certain members of the Armed Forces receive in-state tuition as a condition of the states' colleges and universities receiving certain federal funds under the Higher Education Act.
- Prevents states from denying, suspending, or revoking state-issued:
- driver's licenses;
- teaching licenses;
- professional licenses; or
- a similar form of licensing to lawful employment in a certain field.
- Gives states two years to comply.
- Provides borrowers with legal recourse for non-compliance, by allowing them to file for prospective injunctive relief if a state violates the terms of the act.
The Protecting JOBs Act has been endorsed by organizations including AccessLex, American Federation of Teachers, Center for Law and Social Policy, Center for Responsible Lending, Consumers Union, Generation Progress, Higher Education Loan Coalition, The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS), National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients), National Education Association, R Street, Student Debt Crisis, and Young Invincibles.
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