White House Tries to Clean Up Biden’s False Claim on Student-Loan Forgiveness Golie Mark

The White House delivered a statement to Fox News correspondent Jacqui Heinrich on Monday asserting that President Biden had been referring to the Inflation Reduction Act when he claimed during a recent interview that student-loan forgiveness had “passed” Congress by a “vote or two.”

“The President was referring to the Inflation Reduction Act, which reduced the deficit by hundreds of millions of dollars, creating room for other crucial programs. As you know, no Republicans voted for the Inflation Reduction Act in the House or the Senate, where it passed by a single tie-breaking vote by Vice President Harris,” read the statement.

An official later clarified that the White House believes that the legislation had reduced the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars. According to the Treasury Department, Biden’s debt cancellation — which was imposed through executive rather than legislative action — drove a 562 percent increase in the federal government’s monthly deficit in September.

The White House’s new framing is contradicted by Biden’s own words during his interview with NowThis News:

I’ve just signed a law that’s being challenged by my Republican colleagues, they’re the same people who got PPP [Paycheck Protection Program] loans — in some cases up to five, six hundred thousand dollars — they have no problem with that, the individuals in Congress got those,” said Biden. “But what we’ve provided for is if you went to school if you qualify for a Pell Grant . . . you qualify for $20,000 in debt forgiveness. Secondly, if you DON’T have one of those loans, you just get $10,000 written off. It’s passed. I got it passed by a vote or two, and it’s in effect.

PPP loans were granted to business owners as part of bipartisan coronavirus-relief legislation passed in 2020 prior to Biden taking office. The loans were meant to keep employees on payroll while businesses struggled through the pandemic and state-imposed lockdowns and restrictions on commerce and travel that accompanied Covid. They were designed to be partially or fully forgiven if the business was able to keep up their staff levels and wages.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued an administrative stay on Friday, halting the implementation of the loan-forgiveness program.

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