White House tops Twitter trolling GOP over loan forgiveness

Topline

The White House marked the most popular tweet of the week with a sarcastic thread applauding congressional Republicans who criticized President Joe Biden’s student loan cancellation plan despite canceling business relief loans in the event pandemic, a rare viral win for a major institutional account on the platform.

Highlights

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.

On Saturday morning, the tweet drew nearly 1.1 million interactions, including more than 275,000 retweets and nearly 800,000 likes.

The White House Post tweeted a video in which Greene called the student loan forgiveness unfair, adding a message that simply read, “Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene got $183,504 in forgiven PPP loans.”

The White House Twitter account went on to highlight how many Paycheck Protection Program loans had been canceled for five other Republican congressmen: Reps. Vern Buchanan (Florida), Markwayne Mullin (Okla.), Kevin Hern (Okla.), Mike Kelly (Penn.) and Matt Gaetz (Florida).

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 forgiven debt.

What we don’t know

The White House did not respond to a request for comment from Forbes regarding the idea of ​​who was to do the tweet thread, but the Washington Post reported that there had been a push among White House officials for a braver social media presence. The newspaper noted that a recent recruit to the Office of Digital Strategy is Megan Coyne, who was known for tweeting zingers while managing the New Jersey state government Twitter account.

Key Context

Biden announced his long-awaited student loan relief plan on Wednesday, which will globally provide $10,000 in loan forgiveness to borrowers earning less than $125,000 a year and $20,000 to those in the income threshold and who received Pell Grants to go to college. Republican lawmakers were quick to denounce the plan, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) calling it “a slap in the face to every family who has sacrificed to save for college” in a statement.

To monitor

Loan forgiveness applications will be available in early October, according to the White House, with borrower balances reduced about a month after the application is submitted. Repayments of required federal student loans will resume in January.

Contra

The PPP loan program was created at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic to provide small businesses with funds to keep employees on the payroll during a period of widespread closures and layoffs. PPP loans were largely issued with the intention of being forgiven, unlike federal student loans.

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, Moderate Voice Concern (Forbes)

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

Biden’s White House gets fiery on Twitter (Washington Post)

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