- The Washington Times - Friday, August 26, 2022

The White House is hitting back at critics of President Biden’s student-loan forgiveness plan in unusually personal terms.

In a series of tweets, the White House singled out members of Congress who criticized the plan by pointing to Paycheck Protection Program loans that flowed to their businesses and were forgiven.

Mr. Biden’s plan includes canceling $10,000 in student debt for borrowers who earn less than $125,000 per year and $20,000 in debt for those who received Pell Grants.

“It’s completely unfair,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Georgia Republican, told Newsmax, saying blue-collar Americans will be asked to repay loans for students who went to Ivy League schools.

“Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene had $183,504 in PPP loans forgiven,” the White House shot back on Twitter.

Rep. Mike Kelly, Pennsylvania Republican, tweeted that asking “plumbers and carpenters to pay off the loans of Wall Street advisors and lawyers isn’t just unfair.”

“It’s also bad policy,” he wrote.

The White House retorted: “Congressman Mike Kelly had $987,237 in PPP loans forgiven.”

Republicans who supported the PPP program at the onset of the pandemic in 2020 say the trolling is misguided.

Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, wrote in a Fox News op-ed that federal student loans are “just that, loans,” with the expectation that people will use their educations to secure jobs and pay the loans back.

He said the PPP program that he promoted, meanwhile, was used as an emergency tool and “structured deliberately” as a forgivable loan, with the key condition that 80% of the funds go to payroll.

Businesses shut down in spring 2020 upon the recommendation of Mr. Trump and his advisers, though some states left shutdowns in place much longer than Mr. Trump had planned or wanted.

“Two weeks turned into two months — and in some places, nearly two years,” Mr. Rubio wrote. “But through it all, the Paycheck Protection Program kept Main Street from going under. It was a stunning success.”

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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