Biden Calls the GOP ‘Semi-Fascist,’ Shames Republicans Who Took PPP Loans

Republicans who had their Paycheck Protection Program loans forgiven were apparently outraged by student loan debt forgiveness.

Where has this Joe Biden been for the last year and a half?

Buoyed by strong special-election results and recent polls indicating that a GOP takeover of Congress might not be the sure thing it once seemed, Biden and the White House are now tackling the Republican opposition head-on in a way they haven’t since Biden was inaugurated last year. 


On Thursday, Biden gave a speech describing the Trump-aligned GOP as leaning into “semi-fascism,” while the White House Twitter account called out critics of this week’s announcement on student debt forgiveness as hypocritical for taking Paycheck Protection Program pandemic loans that were later forgiven by the government.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, for example, made an appearance on Newsmax earlier this week calling the plan “completely unfair” and saying that “taxpayers all over the country... shouldn't have to pay off great big student debt for some college student who piled up massive debt going to an Ivy League school.”

Ivy League students make up just a fraction of the 44 million people who carry student loan debt. But in any event, Greene’s construction company, Georgia-based Taylor Commercial, took out $182,000 in loans which were forgiven in full plus interest—or roughly what a four-year degree would cost at an Ivy League school.

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The White House also pointed out that companies owned by Republican Reps. Vern Buchanan, Kevin Hern, and Markwayne Mullin (who is virtually guaranteed election to the Senate after winning a GOP primary in a special election this week) took millions in PPP loans, among other Republicans. 

Hern, for example, was the owner of more than a dozen McDonald’s franchises in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area when he was first elected in 2018. In March 2020, Hern was one of four lawmakers who wrote a letter to Senate leaders pushing for more money for franchise owners in the CARES Act. His company ultimately got more than $1 million in PPP money, all of which was forgiven. 


Hern sold the last of a group of McDonald’s franchises he owned in 2021, according to Tulsa World.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who ran for president on forgiving all student debt and had pushed Biden to cancel $50,000, pointed out that Sen. Mitch McConnell’s alma mater, the University of Louisville, cost just $300 a year when he graduated, in 1964. Now, it costs $12,000 for in-state students; including room and board, it’s nearly $24,000 a year. 

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While Biden’s staff was going after Republicans on Twitter, Biden gave a speech Thursday at a Democratic National Committee rally in Maryland, where he said the “MAGA Republicans” are “a threat to our very democracy. They refuse to accept the will of the people. They embrace political violence.” 

“What we’re seeing now is either the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy,” Biden said during the rally. “It’s not just Trump. It’s the entire philosophy that underpins the—I’m going to say something, it’s like semi-fascism.”

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ppp loans, Student debt, student loans, loan forgiveness, Marjorie Taylor Greene, markwayne mullin, Elizabeth Warren

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