The White House on Twitter this week attempted to call out hypocrisy by Republicans who do not support hundreds of billions of dollars of student loan handouts, but who had COVID loans forgiven for their associated businesses.
President Biden’s action to use taxpayer dollars to eliminate $10,000 from student loans ($20,000 for those who received Pell Grants) for those making under $125,000 a year has been heavily criticized by the GOP as well as many Democratic politicians. The action would likely cost $500 billion, but the total costs could be closer to $900 billion, according to a Penn Wharton Budget Model review of the plan.
Amid already high inflation, Biden’s action has been painted as irresponsible, but the White House launched an attack against critics that points out some Republican politicians are associated with companies that received Paycheck Protection Program loans, and had them forgiven, as part of the CARES Act meant to help small businesses weather shutdowns in 2020 and 2021 that were put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.
However, the two programs – PPP and student loan handout – could not be more different, according to Republicans.
“PPP loans are designed to be forgiven. Student loans are not. Big difference!” said Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., in a tweet responding to the White House Twitter accounts’ attack.
PPP loans were also approved by Congress, another distinction that the White House has not mentioned. Even student loan handouts, which has long been on left-wing progressives’ wish list, were previously thought to be possible only through legislative action.
“Only someone like Joe Biden who has been living off taxpayer dollars for fifty years can confuse the difference between PPP loans and Student Loan handouts. In the height of an unprecedented pandemic where businesses across the country were forced to close, PPP loans were distributed to keep people employed since they had no choice but to shutter completely,” said Rep. Greg Pence, R-Ind., in a statement to Fox News Digital.
“Congress debated the bill and ultimately it passed, 419-6. Biden’s political payout in the form of Student Loan handouts for people who chose to attend college and take out loans never saw any congressional action because there was no way Congress would support it. Instead, he’s abusing the power of the Presidency to dole out billions of dollars in kickbacks to students who support him politically and forcing the average American to pay thousands to finance his scheme,” Pence added.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., even said last year that Biden did not have the authority to remove debt from student borrowers without Congress.
“People think that the president of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness, he does not,” Pelosi said in July last year. “He can postpone, he can delay, but he does not have that power. That has to be an act of Congress.”
Several House members ran businesses, or were associated with companies, that applied for and received PPP loans in 2020 and 2021. The CARES Act stipulated that if the loans were used for payroll – so that companies did not need to let employees go, which would have increased the number of Americans on unemployment – then they would be forgiven. The program cost around $900 billion,
Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., for example, lists on his financial disclosures that he is connected to two companies that got PPP loans, which were later forgiven.
“The PPP helped people remain employed while the government literally shut down much of the economy. Only an intellectual clown would compare that to what Biden is doing now,” Norman told Fox News Digital in a statement. “There is absolutely no defense for taking someone’s student loans and forcing that debt upon other people. It’s immoral and illegal, and it takes a special kind of idiocy to equate that to the PPP.”