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FIRST ON FOX: Officials in President Biden’s administration are among those who stand to benefit from the $300 billion student loan handout.
Despite fears that the move would make inflation worse, the president announced on Wednesday that the federal government would absorb up to $10,000 in student debt for Americans making under $125,000 a year, or households earning under $250,000.
Several Biden administration officials who fall under the salary threshold for the student loan handout have outstanding loans themselves.
The watchdog organization Inside Biden’s Basement identified at least 12 West Wing staffers who may be eligible for the Biden handout.
Chris Meagher, Claudia Chavez, Hee Jung L Shim, John McCarthy, Justin Oswald, Kelliann Blazek, Maju Varghese, Michael LaRosa, Michael Leach, Rory Brosius, Shilpa Phadke, and Zephranie Buetow all make under the salary threshold and have outstanding loans so would there benefit from Biden’s handout, according to the watchdog group.
The White House has yet to make public the financial disclosures of almost 300 employees, according to Inside Biden’s Basement, but 336 officials out of 474 make less than $125,000 a year salary.
The numbers from Inside Biden’s Basement don’t include agency officials, which is its own separate 175-person behemoth.
“President Obama said he had ‘a pen and a phone’ to make policy that was DOA in Congress and faced an uphill battle in the courts,” Inside Biden’s Basement communications director Derrick Hollie told Fox News Digital. “With today’s student loan forgiveness Executive Order, President Biden is following suit with what appears to be a major pay raise to some of his closest aides and political lackeys hiding Inside Biden’s Basement.”
“Just at the White House, nearly 71% or 336 White House officials earn under the $125,000 threshold and potentially even more could be eligible under the household income cap. Counting the agencies, Inside Biden’s Basement has identified over 200 officials who may be eligible for this Biden handout on the backs of taxpayers,” Hollie continued.
“Knowing that hundreds of financial disclosures exposing potential student loan debt have yet to be made public by the White House and federal agencies, the number of Biden officials set to benefit from today’s EO is staggering,” he said. “And the people who will be footing the bill are those who scraped, saved, and sacrificed to pay off their debt, or avoided taking out loans altogether, and those who did not attend college but still have to deal with Biden’s record-high inflation and recession-laden economy.”
White House spokesman Andrew Bates told Fox News Digital he is “unfamiliar” with Inside Biden’s Basement, which he called a “club,” saying “the relief the President just delivered applies to millions of Americans regardless of workplace.”
“Whether they are employed by Fox News, another private business, or a Republican Senate office, 43 million eligible borrowers now have help available to them,” Bates said. “Almost 90 percent of the benefits will go to people earning under $75,000, and none will go to those earning over $125,000.”
“This is the inverse of congressional Republicans’ 2017 tax giveaway to the rich, 85% of which went to those earning more than $75,000,” he added.
Biden’s student loan handout proposal was announced on Wednesday, marking the first motion from the president to follow through on a hallmark campaign promise.
Experts warn forgiving student debt could have an adverse effect on the economy and may only truly benefit the more affluent.
The nation’s federal student debt now tops $1.6 trillion after ballooning for years. More than 43 million Americans have federal student debt, with almost a third owing less than $10,000 and more than half owing less than $20,000, according to the latest federal data.
Biden said his administration will forgive student loan debt up to $20,000 for borrowers who attended college on Pell Grants; and $10,000 for borrowers who did not receive Pell Grants. Biden said the forgiveness “only applies to those earning less than $125,000.”
Fox News Digital’s Brooke Singman contributed reporting.
Houston Keene is a reporter for Fox News Digital. You can find him on Twitter at @HoustonKeene.