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White House Topped Twitter By Trolling GOP On Loan Forgiveness

Topline

The White House scored the most popular tweet of the week with a snarky thread clapping back at congressional Republicans who criticized President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan despite having had business pandemic aid loans forgiven, a rare viral victory for a major institutional account on the platform.

Joe Biden laughs while speaking at the 2014 UAW National Community Action Program Conference in … [+] Washington on February 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

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Key Facts

The tweet starting the thread, which targeted Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), was the most popular on Twitter this week, according to data collected by social media tracking firm NewsWhip.

As of Saturday morning the tweet has attracted nearly 1.1 million interactions, including more than 275,000 retweets and almost 800,000 likes.

The White House’s post quote-tweeted a video in which Greene called student loan forgiveness unfair, adding a message that simply read: “Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene had $183,504 in PPP loans forgiven.”

The White House Twitter account followed up by pointing out how much in Paycheck Protection Program loans were forgiven for five other Republican congressmen: Reps. Vern Buchanan (Fla.), Markwayne Mullin (Okla.), Kevin Hern (Okla.), Mike Kelly (Penn.) and Matt Gaetz (Fla.).

Greene’s $183,504 in forgiven loans was the lowest of the cohort, according to the White House, while Buchanan led the way with $2.3 million in canceled debt.

What We Don’t Know

The White House did not respond to a request for comment from Forbes regarding whose idea it was to make the tweet thread, but the Washington Post reported there’s been a push among White House officials for a spunkier social media presence. The newspaper noted one recent hire in the Office of Digital Strategy is Megan Coyne, who was known for tweeting zingers while running the New Jersey state government Twitter account.

Key Background

Biden announced his highly anticipated student loan relief plan Wednesday, which will broadly provide $10,000 of loan forgiveness to borrowers making less than $125,000 a year and $20,000 to those within the income threshold who received Pell Grants to go to college. Republican lawmakers swiftly denounced the plan, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) calling it “a slap in the face to every family who sacrificed to save for college” in a statement.

What To Watch For

Applications for loan forgiveness will become available in early October, according to the White House, with borrowers’ balances being reduced about a month after filing the application. Required federal student loan repayments will resume in January.

Contra

The PPP loan program was created early in the Covid-19 pandemic to provide small businesses with funds to keep employees on the payroll during a time of widespread shutdowns and layoffs. PPP loans were largely awarded with the intention of being forgiven, while federal student loans were not.

Further Reading

White House Slams Republicans Who Criticized Student Debt Relief But Received PPP Loans (Forbes)

Progressives Praise Biden’s Student Debt Cancellation As GOP And Moderates Voice Concern (Forbes)

Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Plan: Here’s Who Benefits Most—And Least (Forbes)

The Biden White House gets feisty on Twitter (Washington Post)

Read More

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