Biden’s staffers are crafting a student-loan forgiveness plan they could ‘financially benefit’ from, 2 top Republican lawmakers say — and they’re demanding an ethics probe into ‘the gross abuse of power’


Two House Republican lawmakers want the staffers creating President Joe Biden’s student-loan forgiveness plan to be investigated for potential conflicts of interest.

On Wednesday, top Republican on the House education committee Virginia Foxx and top Republican on the House oversight committee James Comer sent a letter to Emory Rounds III, the director of the US Office of Government Ethics regarding potential student-loan forgiveness.

They’re “especially concerned” Biden’s potential relief “may have been promulgated by White House staffers who stand to financially benefit from the decision” after aBloomberg report last month found that at least 30 senior White House staffers have student-loan balances, and collectively, those aides owe as much as $4.7 million in debt.

“Notwithstanding the gross abuse of power as executive branch employees, this would explicitly violate President Biden’s Ethics Pledge, which requires that every appointee in every executive agency contractually pledge to make decisions exclusively within the public interest and without regard to personal benefit or gain,” the lawmakers wrote.

Biden is reportedly considering $10,000 in relief for borrowers making under $150,000 a year, and the announcement will likely be made in July or August, closer to when the pandemic pause on student-loan payments is set to expire after August 31. Foxx has consistently criticized the broad relief, most recently requesting information from the Education Department on what exactly the forgiveness plan is, and how the administration plans to carry it out.

Foxx and Comer are requesting the ethics office deliver the following information by June 29:

A list of all Biden staffers who have worked on the student-loan forgiveness planDocumentation on whether those staffers have student loans that would be forgiven under the planAnd copies of ethics waivers those staffers have signed.

Other Republican lawmakers have expressed concerns with White House staffers having student debt. Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton wrote on Twitter last month that “every White House employee with student loans should be banned from working on Biden’s scheme to transfer student loan debt to the taxpayers.”

With the cost of tuition steadily rising across the country, many students have to take on loans to attain a higher education, which is why many Democratic lawmakers are pushing for forgiveness not only to ease that burden, but to stimulate the economy and close the racial wealth gap. Student debt disproportionately impacts borrowers of color, and the Bloomberg report found that more than half of Biden’s staffers with student debt fall into that category.

While Biden has not yet publicly confirmed in amount of relief he will deliver, Democrats like New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are pushing for him to go bigger than $10,000 to get relief to the people who need it the most.

“We can’t just pick an arbitrary number despite so many people wanting to do so,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “There’s an actual level where wealth inequity starts to get reduced.”

Show some Love^^