by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Just 1 of the 41 Democratic members of Congress who owe student loan debt said they’d support adding an exemption to student loan forgiveness legislation that would ensure they don’t benefit from it.
The Washington Free Beacon asked each of the 41 Democratic offices on Tuesday whether they would support adding an exemption to make members of Congress ineligible from benefiting from taxpayer-funded student debt relief. Only one, Rep. Dan Soto (D., Fla.), said yes.
“Yes, Rep. Soto would be in favor of exempting members of Congress,” said Oriana Piña, his communications director.
According to House and Senate financial disclosures, 63 members of Congress have student loan debt totaling between $2.3 and $5.9 million. Of these members, 41 Democrats account for 70 percent of total congressional student debt.
The College for All Act of 2019, introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.), and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.), is the first legislation proposed that would cancel all student debt regardless of income. A number of the original cosponsors of Sanders’s bill have student debt of their own.
Omar, whose debt sits between $15,001 and $50,000, said the bill “will liberate millions of Americans.” Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee (D., Texas), Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.), and Nanette Barragán (D., Calif.), who together owe up to $200,000 in student debt according to financial disclosures, all signed on as supporters of the debt forgiveness bill. None of their offices responded to emailed inquiries.