Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.

White House digs in on Paycheck Protection, student loan forgiveness comparisons

The White House is sticking to one key line of defense when pushing back against critics of President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt for eligible borrowers: comparing those loans to the pandemic-era Paycheck Protection Program.

Biden and Domestic Policy Council Director Susan Rice both made loose comparisons Wednesday to the PPP program, which allowed small businesses to apply for forgivable loans should they use the funds to keep employees on the payroll, but the White House’s Twitter account took an additional step Thursday.


The White House started a thread quote-tweeting Republican critics of Biden’s plan with the size of the PPP loan their businesses accepted. That list included GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA), Matt Gaetz (FL), Markwayne Mullin (OK), Kevin Hern (OK), Mike Kelly (PA), and Vern Buchanan (FL) receiving anywhere from $180,000 to $2.3 million in forgivable, pandemic aid.

Critics have claimed the comparison isn’t apples and oranges.

“First, PPP loans were enacted by the government to stave off economic ruin it had initiated. The state sent checks so that employment wouldn’t crater after it forced the economy to shut down,” David Harsanyi writes. “Second, PPP loans, unlike student loans, were intended to be cash transfers from the government. They were structured to be forgivable ‘loans’ before the law was passed. No one broke a contract. No one changed the parameters of the loans. No president walked in and unilaterally transferred the responsibility of PPP payments to other businesses.”

The White House, on the other hand, says the outrage over the comparison proves its point.

“We’ve never hesitated to call out hypocrisy, and we’re not going to stop now,” White House spokeswoman Alexandra LaManna told the Washington Examiner. “It’s important to make clear that many of the same people calling out student loan debt relief — which will help the middle class and working families by giving them more breathing room — had no issue with loan bailouts that benefited their own companies and no issue with giving tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy.”

Other White House officials, speaking anonymously, as they had not been cleared to address the issue in public, took pride in just how “viral” the PPP thread went on Thursday.

“We clearly struck a nerve,” one official said. “There wouldn’t be nearly the opposing response if what we’re saying isn’t obviously true.”

A second White House official noted that just because they had been pointing to the PPP program as a means of justifying Biden’s loan forgiveness, it did not mean the administration was opposed to helping small businesses.

“We can do both,” that person added. “It’s not mutually exclusive.”

Bharat Ramamurti, the director of Biden’s National Economic Council, outright told reporters at Friday’s White House press briefing that the PPP comparisons are “fair.”

“We absolutely think it’s a fair comparison, and here’s why. So, you know, since last July, we have forgiven, under the statutory terms of the PPP program, more than $350 billion worth of loans. Those are loans that the government has forgiven, turned into grants, and these are loans by way of up to $10 million per business owner,” Ramamurti explained. “Now, we believe that providing support to small businesses is the right thing to do. We didn’t design PPP; maybe we would have designed it a little bit differently if we were in charge, but broadly speaking, providing support to small businesses is a priority of the president.”


“Has any Republican in the last year stood up and said, ‘Inflation is really high. You guys should stop providing this. Don’t forget to pick up receipts. You should slow it down,’ or ‘You should change the rules because it’s unfair that these people should get up to $10 million in grants.’ No, in fact, it’s the opposite,” he continued. “The pressure that we have gotten from Republicans on the Hill has consistently been: ‘Do this faster, make it easier for people to get forgiveness.’ So our view is why is there a double standard here. Why is it, from the perspective of Republicans, great to forgive a loan of up to $10 million to a business owner, but if we want to provide $10,000 or $20,000 in loan relief to a teacher or a bus driver or nurse, all of a sudden that’s socialism? That’s, that’s what doesn’t compute from our view.”

Related Articles

Back to top button