Text: S.2049 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (06/28/2019)


116th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 2049


To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to automatically discharge the loans of certain veteran borrowers, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 28 (legislative day, June 27), 2019

Mr. Reed (for himself and Mr. Isakson) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions


A BILL

To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to automatically discharge the loans of certain veteran borrowers, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Automatic loan discharge for certain veteran borrowers.

Section 437(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1087(a)) is amended—

(1) by striking paragraph (2) and inserting the following:

“(2) DISABILITY DETERMINATIONS.—With respect to a borrower who has been identified under clause (i) or (ii) of paragraph (3)(A), the Secretary shall—

“(A) consider such borrower permanently and totally disabled for the purpose of discharging the loans of such borrower under this subsection;

“(B) discharge the loans of such borrower under this subsection, without any further action by the borrower (except that this subparagraph shall not apply to a borrower who opts out of such discharge under subparagraph (C));

“(C) in a case of a borrower who lives in a State that may impose a tax liability (as described in paragraph (4)) for such a loan discharge—

“(i) notify the borrower of the possible tax liability; and

“(ii) provide an opportunity to opt-out of such loan discharge; and

“(D) notify such borrower of potential Federal tax implications of such loan discharge under this subsection.”; and

(2) by adding at the end the following:

“(3) MATCHING PROGRAM.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—Not less than twice per year, the Secretary of Education and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall carry out a computer matching program under which the Secretary of Education identifies a borrower—

“(i) who has been assigned a rating of total disability by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for a service-connected disability (as defined in section 101 of title 38, United States Code); or

“(ii) who has been determined by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to be unemployable due to a service-connected condition.

“(B) MINOR DISCREPANCIES.—With respect to each borrower who would have been identified under clause (i) or (ii) of subparagraph (A) but for a minor discrepancy between the information of the borrower maintained by the Secretary of Education and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (such as a name discrepancy post marriage, a missing hyphen, a transposed number or letter, or other typo), the Secretary of Education and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall work together to correct such minor discrepancy of such borrower.

“(4) STATE TAX LIABILITY.—The Secretary shall determine whether a State may impose a tax liability for the discharge of a loan under this subsection, and in making that determination, the Secretary shall—

“(A) in the case of a State which does not have an income tax, or which excludes discharge of student loans from its definition of income for tax purposes, determine that the State will not impose tax liability;

“(B) in the case of a State which conforms the relevant provisions of its tax law to section 108 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, determine that the State will not impose tax liability; and

“(C) in the case of a State which does not conform the relevant provisions of its tax law to section 108 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, consult with the tax authority of that State to determine if the State would seek to impose tax liability and, if not, determine that a State will not impose tax liability.”.


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