Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) today reintroduced the Protecting Job Opportunities for Borrowers (Protecting JOBs) Act (S.609), legislation that would help to ensure borrowers are not inhibited from working in their trained field 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 a borrower falls behind on their federal student loan payments. A one pager of the bill is available here.
“It is wrong to threaten a borrower’s livelihood by rescinding a professional license from those who are struggling to repay student loans, and it deprives hardworking Americans of dignified work,” Rubio said. “Our bill fixes this ‘catch-22’ and ensures that borrowers are able to continue working to pay off their loans, instead of being caught in a modern-day debtors prison.”
“We shouldn’t punish people struggling to pay back their student loans by taking away their drivers’ or professional licenses, preventing them from going to work and making a living,” said Senator Warren. “Our bipartisan bill removes these senseless roadblocks so that borrowers can build better financial futures.”
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 to 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.
- June 14, 2018: Rubio, Warren Introduce Bill to Protect Jobs for Workers Who Fall Behind on Student Loan Payments
- June 14, 2018: The New York Times: “Rubio and Warren Seek to Protect Licenses of Student-Loan Debtors”