Senators Marco Rubio and Elizabeth Warren planned to introduce a bill on Thursday that would prevent states from suspending residents’ driver’s and professional licenses over unpaid federal student loans. Critics have called the practice a self-defeating approach that denies borrowers the means to pay their debts.
The bipartisan proposal comes after a November report by The New York Times revealed that 20 states had laws allowing government agencies to seize licenses from residents who had defaulted on their education debts. Records requests turned up 8,700 cases in which borrowers had lost their credentials in recent years, although that figure most likely understated the true tally.
“It makes no sense to revoke a professional license from someone who is trying to pay their student loans,” Mr. Rubio, Republican of Florida, said in a statement. Ms. Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, called the policies “wrong and counterproductive.”