A plan from President Joe Biden to cut student loan debt has divided the country with some feeling happy and others mad.
Among those speaking out against the plan are members of Congress, who feel Biden is being unfair. The official Twitter Inc TWTR account of The White House clapped back at those Congress members and saw some support from well-known sports personality Dave Portnoy.
What Happened: On Wednesday, Biden announced plans to extend a current loan payment freeze on student loans and forgive portions of federal student debt.
Under the plan, the Department of Education will provide up to $10,000 in relief for federal student loans for individuals who make less than $125,000 per year and married couples who make $250,000 or less. Those who received Pell Grants can receive relief of up to $20,000.
A freeze on federal student loan repayments was extended through the end of 2022 with payments to resume in January 2023.
Benzinga reported that the plan from Biden could provide student loan relief for up to 43 million people including eliminating student loan debt for 20 million Americans.
Congress Speaks Out: Several members of Congress have spoken out against Biden’s plan.
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia went on Newsmax to share her thoughts on the plan.
“For our government to just say ok well your debt is completely forgiven, well obviously they have an agenda for that, they need votes in November,” Greene said.
Greene called the plan “completely unfair” and said that taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay off the “great big student loan debt.”
Vern Buchanan, a representative from Florida, criticized the impact on the middle class and blue-collar America.
“As a blue-collar kid who worked his way through college, I know firsthand the sacrifices people make to receive an education. Biden’s reckless, unilateral student loan giveaway is unfair to the 87 percent of Americans without student loan debt,” Buchanan tweeted.
The U.S. representative appeared on Fox Business earlier this week to voice his opposition. Buchanan said people in his state “feel outraged at where this is going.”
Markwayne Mullin, a U.S. representative for Oklahoma, said we don’t need people in Oklahoma paying the debt of “Ivy League lawyers and doctors” around the country.
“This places an undue burden on those already suffering due to the weight of Biden’s failed economic policy,” Mullin said.
Kevin Hern, another U.S. representative from Oklahoma, also criticized taxes being raised on “working-class Americans” and having people pay off “other people’s college degrees.”
Mike Kelly, a representative from Pennsylvania, called the student loan plan from Biden “bad policy.”
U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, who represents Florida also criticized the student loan plan while getting a shot in about the “European land war” in the process.
The White House Fires Back: The official White House account on Twitter shared the takes from members of Congress above including the video interviews of Greene and Buchanan discussing with the media the negatives of the plan.
The White House clapped back by sharing the amount of PPP (paycheck protection program) loans that each of these members of Congress took out that were forgiven.
Here is the amount for those mentioned on Twitter by The White House:
- Greene: $183,504
- Buchanan: $2.3 million
- Mullin: $1.4 million
- Hern: $1 million
- Kelly: $987,237
- Gaetz: $482,321
The tweet highlighted the SBA-backed loans that the members of Congress had that were forgiven, similar to student loan debt that is now being forgiven.
The White House also got support from sports personality Dave Portnoy, the founder of Barstool Sports, which is a unit of Penn Entertainment Inc PENN.
Portnoy famously raised money for small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With everybody grandstanding about loans felt it was a good time to remind people Barstool qualified for PPP. We decided against asking for money cause we didn’t need it,” Portnoy tweeted. “Instead we raised $40 million for small businesses who did.
Portnoy shared a list of Republican members of Congress who had PPP loans forgiven. The list includes many listed above, as well as Roger Williams ($1.43 million) of Texas, Brett Guthrie ($4.3 million) of Kentucky and Carol Miller of West Virginia ($3.1 million), among others.
Biden’s plan may not make everyone happy or appeal to both Republicans and Democrats. The White House and Portnoy have both pointed to members of Congress seeing debt that they took on forgiven, a move that might keep more from speaking out publicly against Biden’s plan.
Photo: Cameron Smith photo, courtesy of White House (Flickr)
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