White House trolls Republicans on Twitter over student debt relief

Tweets refer to pandemic loan forgiveness in comparison to student loan debt cancellations

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre gives details of the student loan debt forgiveness plan on Thursday. EPA
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The White House on Thursday tweeted a thread of posts responding to Republican critics who challenged US President Joe Biden's student loan forgiveness plan.

Six posts on the White House Twitter account responded directly to statements by Republicans who slammed Mr Biden's plan to help Americans strapped by student debt by referencing their use of pandemic funds.

The first post responds to a TV clip where Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia said "for our government to say, oh OK, well your debt is completely forgiven … that is completely unfair".

The White House quote tweeted that video and said: "Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene had $183,504 in PPP loans forgiven."

PPP loans refer to the Paycheck Protection Programme, an early pandemic initiative that helped businesses to survive and workers employed during the worst of the economic fallout from Covid-19.

After the programme ended in May last year, borrowers were able to apply for loan forgiveness, meaning it was given for free.

The Twitter thread is a rare move by the Biden White House, which does not often respond to critics and aims to reach bipartisanship.

The "White House" and "WH Twitter" were trending high on the social platform on Thursday evening.

Other tweets responded to Republicans Matt Gaetz of Florida and Representative Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, among others.

The White House said Representative Vern Buchanan of Florida had $2.3 million in PPP loans forgiven, the highest amount of loan forgiveness for an elected official mentioned in the Twitter thread.

In comparison, Mr Biden's student loan relief plan would affect up to 43 million Americans.

People who make less than $125,000 annually can get up to $10,000 of their debt forgiven, and those who received a Pell Grant also under the same income threshold can have up to $20,000 cancelled.

Updated: August 26, 2022, 9:30 PM
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