Republicans have played up the idea that no American should be handed free money for student loan repayment. But a June NPR/Ipsos poll among American adults showed that 55 percent of Americans support giving the $10,000 in loan forgiveness to families making less than $125,000 a year.
In 2020 when the Paycheck Protection Program was created, at least 13 Republican lawmakers took advantage of the free money and never paid it back. The CARES Act handed over $27 million in loans to lawmakers and their families.
"Caregivers Inc., a Pensacola-based company in which Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has reported holding between $100,001 and $250,000 in corporate stock, received a PPP loan valued between $350,000 and $1 million," reported Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX), one of Congress' wealthiest members, also got a PPP loan for between $1 and 2 million.
USA Today reported that Businesses linked to Reps. Rick Allen (R-GA), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Kevin Hern (R-OK), Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) all scored free PPP loans.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) even went so far as to get a PPP loan and then loan $450,000 of it to her own campaign.
Firebrand Republican Monica De La Cruz is running for the House in Texas on a campaign attacking the "free" money handed out during the COVID-19 crisis. It turns out she was one of those who got some of that cash.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) similarly posted his displeasure, going so far as to call the loan forgiveness a "bribe" to voters ahead of the 2022 election. The loan forgiveness was a 2020 campaign promise of President Joe Biden's.
"Sad to see what’s being done to bribe the voters," he said. "Biden's student loan forgiveness plan may win Democrats some votes, but it fuels inflation, foots taxpayers with other people’s financial obligations, is unfair to those who paid their own way and creates irresponsible expectations."
"Who will ultimately pay the price of Joe Biden’s student loan handout?" asked Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). "The 87 percent of Americans who don’t have student loans!"
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) called the loan forgiveness a gift to "coastal elites," even though it will help families in his east coast state as well as those in the rest of the U.S.
"Today is further proof that the Biden admin cares about foreign borders and coastal elites - not the Americans being crushed by inflation, crime, and a border crisis," he said.
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), who serves in the Republican House leadership also opposed the help for American families.
"Let’s be clear: This isn’t imaginary money," he tweeted. "Biden just shifted all that student loan debt onto other taxpayers who are already dealing with high inflation. Debt 'forgiveness' is just another liberal scam for the elites paid for by working class Americans.
Actor David Kaufman recalled the 2008 federal bailout that gave $700 billion to big banks because they were, reportedly "too big to fail." The bill was supported by many Republicans in the House and Senate, along with Democrats, and was signed by Republican former President George W. Bush.
Scalise's state of Louisiana has a lot of oil business in his state. It prompted small business owner Matthew Wollenweber in New Orleans to note that if Scalise cares so much about shifting money onto other taxpayers, he should be forced to apply the same logic to multi-national oil companies that scored $5.9 trillion in 2020 subsidies under a Republican president.
Former President Donald Trump filed for bankruptcy six times under five different companies. The New Yorker detailed the extensive amount of business failures over the course of the past decades for Trump.