A number of left-wing Democrats who continue to push for taxpayer-funded student loan forgiveness are themselves saddled with student loan debt, and in some cases, a massive amount of it.
According to The Daily Caller, “more than a dozen Democratic members of Congress who have urged President Joe Biden to forgive student loans reported over $1 million in educational debt, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation review of financial disclosures.”
The 13 Democrats, whose average age is 46 years old, reported their debts in 2020 and 2021, the report said, adding that those debts range from as little as $15,000 to as high as $250,000, for a total of $1.5 million.
The report adds:
The lawmakers have all supported at least some degree of federal student loan cancellation, a policy the Biden administration is reportedly considering. This includes New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who owes up to $50,000 worth and has repeatedly tweeted about the issue, and also Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who owes up to $100,000 and has called canceling student debt “a racial justice issue.”
Student loan forgiveness is good, actually
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 16, 2020
New York Rep. Grace Meng, who along with other Democrats in March demanded Biden forgive student loans “to address racial and economic equity issues,” disclosed in 2021 that her spouse owes up to $250,000 in educational debt.
The Biden administration may limit cancellation for people who earned $150,000 in the prior year — or married couples filing jointly who earned less than $300,000 in the prior year — but it remains uncertain how the cancellation plan could be implemented. Members make a base salary of $174,000 per year.
“When Members have these type of connections to issues they are directly advocating for, it leads to citizens fairly questioning whether members are advocating for the public good or their own personal interests,” Kendra Arnold, executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, a watchdog organization focused on ethics in government, told the outlet.
Abolish student loan debt.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) August 28, 2020
Biden and Democrats are haggling over the amount of debt cancellation, but so far nothing has been settled upon.
Members who have backed debt cancellation while reporting student loans for themselves include Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, California Reps. Jimmy Gomez and Nanette Barragan, Pennsylvania Rep. Brendan Boyle, Connecticut Rep. Jahana Hayes, Florida Rep. Darren Soto and Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar.
Nine of those members reported having debt through a federal servicer, which means that the loans are sponsored by the federal government. It’s not clear for the remainder of members whether their loans are private or federal because the loan servicers deal with both kinds.
But that said, ” it is extremely likely some of the congressional debt listed from servicers that give out both federal and private loans includes money tied to the Department of Education given over 90% of all student loans are federal, according to two student loan industry experts who spoke to” the outlet.
“Almost every large balance loan today is very likely to be a federal loan given the unlimited borrowing the government allows in their PLUS loan program,” said Scott Buchanan, executive director of Student Loan Servicing Alliance, the only trade group representing student loan servicers nationwide advocating policymakers to improve borrower experiences and ensure best practices amongst servicers.
“So when you look at any sample group of borrowers and don’t know exactly what kind of loan they have, you can bet with some degree of certainty that they are almost all federal student loans,” he added.