Unbeknownst to most taxpayers, staffers on Capitol Hill have been massively benefitting from a secret student loan forgiveness scheme.
More than $50 million in student loan debt held by employees of the federal government has been paid for by U.S. taxpayers. Those in the Senate can receive up to $40,000 directly from the Treasury to pay down their federal student loans. The House is even more generous, with up to $80,000 on offer through a nearly identical benefit created in 2023.
Senate staffers are eligible for $500 monthly payments to help pay down their student loan debt, while House staffers are given $800 payments. Taxpayers in the U.S. have thus far paid off $36.5 million in student debt for congressional bureaucrats since 2020 alone.
Meanwhile, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are Biden’s recent student loan “forgiveness” plan to distract from this lesser-known scheme.
Congressional staffers are free to enroll in the Student Loan Repayment Program once their employing lawmaker gives approval for their office to be involved. Available records indicate that nearly every lawmaker on Capitol Hill, even those vehemently opposed to Biden’s debt forgiveness plan, have authorized their staff to enroll in the House and Senate’s taxpayer-funded student loan repayment benefits.
Kennedy called Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan a “cynical attempt to buy votes before an election” just last week. Two days prior, on Wednesday, Kennedy said it wasn’t fair that taxpayers will be on the hook for the estimated $37 million borrowers are slated to have eliminated as part of Biden’s plan.
Nearly 2,000 congressional staffers are enrolled in the House and Senate’s student loan repayment programs, according to Politico. Staffers that make under $125,000 will be able to double up on taxpayer-funded student loan assistance by having up to $20,000 of their federal debt forgiven as part of Biden’s plan.
Neither the House nor the Senate publicly identifies in their disbursement reports which offices or staffers are enrolled in the taxpayer-funded student loan repayment benefits.
However, the House Office of Diversity & Inclusion’s 2021 House Compensation and Diversity Study found that 99.1% of House staffers surveyed reported that their offices participate in the program.
And the Congressional Management Foundation, a nonpartisan charity, found in a 2019 survey that 100% of Senate offices were enrolled in the benefit.
Author: Sebastian Hayworth