WASHINGTON — The White House is pushing back on criticism from Republicans in Congress about his student loan forgiveness plan by highlighting that some of those same lawmakers got loan relief during the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was the first lawmaker to be called out after a video surfaced of her criticizing the student loan debt relief measure on the conservative TV network Newsmax.
“They (taxpayers) shouldn’t have to pay off the great big student loan debt for some college students that pile up massive debt going to some Ivy League school,” Greene said.
The White House reposted a snippet of Greene’s video on Twitter and added a comment pointing out that her company applied for Paycheck Protection Program loans in an amount much larger than the $20,000 maximum student debt forgiveness President Joe Biden proposed.
“Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene had $183,504 in PPP loans forgiven,” the Biden administration wrote on its official account. That money went to Taylor Commercial, the congresswoman’s family construction business.
It was the start of a series of a half-dozen tweets calling out conservatives, including Florida U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz and Oklahoma U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, who is now the favorite to win a seat in the U.S. Senate.
A spokesman for Greene accused the Biden administration of continuing to “make MTG a target simply because she is outspoken against Democrat policies” but did not respond directly to the information in the tweet about the Rome Republican.
Another Georgia lawmaker, U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde, was not called out by the Biden administration but faced similar criticism after making remarks on social media about the student debt relief.
“Joe Biden isn’t ‘forgiving’ or ‘canceling’ student loan debt,” Clyde wrote. “He’s simply transferring borrowers’ burden to working and middle class Americans.”
Numerous people replied to Clyde with screenshots showing the forgivable PPP loans his gun store, Clyde Armory, received worth $154,950.
In a statement, the Athens Republican said, “While the Paycheck Protection Program passed Congress in a bipartisan fashion to assist businesses facing mandatory government shutdowns during COVID-19, the president’s plan to transfer student loan debt from borrowers to working and middle class Americans is an unlawful abuse of executive power.
“Equating PPP and student loans is not only wildly disingenuous, but reveals ignorance of both the loans themselves and the important distinction between legislative approval and executive action.”
Georgia GOP U.S. Senate nominee Herschel Walker has also hammered the student loan forgiveness announcement. He got $182,800 in PPP loans for his poultry business forgiven by the federal government.