GOP hopeful Scheller criticizes Biden’s student debt plan. His company had the PPP loans erased

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Lisa Scheller, Republican candidate in the 7th congressional district, criticizes President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness initiative as a move that means ‘working families across the state will be forced to pay off the debts of incumbent elites of a doctorate”.

His Aug. 24 tweet came the same day Biden said he would forgive up to $10,000 in student loans for borrowers with incomes below $125,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a household. The figure goes up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients.

Tweets such as Scheller’s drew a rebuke from the White House because Scheller, like other Republican and elected candidates, himself saw the benefit of federal loan forgiveness — among them, the U.S. Rep. of Pennsylvania Mike Kelly, R-16th District.

Scheller is President and CEO of Silberline Manufacturing in Schuylkill County, a global aluminum pigment company that includes operations in North America, South America, Europe, Africa and China.

Silberline saw just over $5 million in PPP loans forgiven in 2020 and 2021, according to ProPublica’s PPP tracking system.

(Source: Lehigh Valley Armchair)

The Paycheck Protection Program, established under the Trump administration, provided $953 billion in business loans to help during the coronavirus pandemic that has shuttered businesses. Recipients did not have to repay the money as long as they followed the procedures for using the money.

Scheller’s campaign manager Pierce Frauenheim defended the tweet.

“There is no comparison to a bipartisan emergency small business loan program that was administered during a global pandemic when the government abruptly shut down the economy to President Biden’s political game to forgive some student loans and save his approval ratings,” he said in an email. “Biden and Wild’s political agenda, which is paid for by hard-working families in the Lehigh Valley, is purely driven by rescuing their embarrassing approval ratings as the midterm elections approach.”

Wild, who is seeking a third two-year term, supports Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan.

In early August, Wild reintroduced legislation to restructure the federal student loan repayment system.

“For millions of people, paying off student loan debt is a massive struggle, largely due to ridiculously high predatory interest rates, compound interest, and unnecessarily complicated loan structures,” he said. she said in an email.

“We need to fix fundamental problems with our federal student loan repayment system, and loan forgiveness does not bring about those fundamental changes. That’s why it’s imperative that the House pass my Student Loans Simplification Act (HR 8700), to reduce interest rates on federal loans to 1% and change the repayment system to an amount based on income. without generating additional interest, as well as adding transparency to the lending process. This will ease the financial burden for current and future borrowers.

Scheller comes against Wild for the second time. Wild beat Scheller 51.9-48.1% in 2020.

Scheller limited his tweet to student borrowers with doctorates. The Educational Data Initiative reports that the average debt for doctorate holders is $159,625, a figure that includes both undergraduate and graduate programs.

His tweet about the student loan forgiveness plan aligns with one of his main campaign messages – linking Biden and Wild to the high rate of inflation that has gripped the nation.

“Whether it’s gas, groceries, or taxes to subsidize those making 6-figure salaries, our working families are paying more and can’t afford the Biden-Wild program,” Scheller said. in the tweet.

The 7th District includes all of Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon counties and a small portion of Monroe County.

Katherine Reinhard covers the Lehigh Valley for the Capital-Star. She wrote this for Armchair Lehigh Valley, a political newsletter, where it first appeared.

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