Tom Cotton says White House aides with student debt 'should be banned from working on Biden's scheme' to forgive loans
- Sen. Tom Cotton said White House aides with student debt shouldn't work on loan forgiveness plans.
- He called it "a clear conflict of interest" in his latest attack on Biden's student-loan relief.
GOP Sen. Tom Cotton wants to ensure people with student debt have no role in constructing broad loan forgiveness plans.
"Every White House employee with student loans should be banned from working on Biden's scheme to transfer student loan debt to the taxpayers," Cotton wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. "It's a clear conflict of interest."
—Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) May 24, 2022
President Joe Biden is coming closer to making a decision on the student-loan forgiveness he will implement. As Insider previously reported, the relief could likely be close to his $10,000 forgiveness campaign pledge, with the possibility of targeting the relief to those making under $125,000 — something Biden considered on the campaign trail. While Democrats want Biden to go as big as possible on relief, Cotton and some of his Republicans colleagues have slammed the idea.
For example, Cotton wrote last month that "Biden wants to raid the treasury to bribe his progressive base to turn out for the midterms" — a sentiment reflected by Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, as well, who called canceling student debt a "bribe" to voters. Additionally, top Republican on the House education committee Virginia Foxx has frequently said canceling student debt would exacerbate inflation and cost taxpayers, referring to the $150 billion cost of the pandemic pause on payments.
Cotton's argument on White House aides with student debt is the latest from the GOP's attacks. A Bloomberg report last week found that at least 30 senior White House staffers have student-loan balances, according to financial disclosures from the Office of Government Ethics. Collectively, according to Bloomberg, those aides owe as much as $4.7 million in debt, and more than half of them are borrowers of color.
And Biden himself said he took out $280,000 in student debt to put his children and grandchildren through college — but since taking office, he's expressed hesitancy with his ability to enact broad relief. He asked the Education and Justice Departments to review his legal ability to cancel a large amount of student debt, and Democratic lawmakers have maintained the authority is there, and he should use it.
"The more President Biden cancels, the more we narrow the racial wealth gap among borrowers and the bigger the boost to Americans' economic futures," Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren previously said in a statement. "This is the right thing to do."
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