White House officials told notable TikTok and social media users it was preparing to wipe away their student loans before the Biden administration announced plans Friday to cancel $7.4 billion in additional debt for 277,000 borrowers.

Neera Tanden and Viviann Anguiano — both members of President Biden’s Domestic Policy Council — informed at least 30 of the Gen Z influencers in a private meeting that their cohort was eligible for the write-off, the Daily Mail reported.

Anguiano affirmed that the administration opposed the Supreme Court having rejected a previous effort at canceling their student loan debt — echoing remarks made at a roundtable with Vice President Kamala Harris earlier this week.

“We’re doing everything we can to ensure that — as we view broader fixes on our proposals that those are being provided and the relief is being provided to borrowers,” she said, according to the report.

TikTok users with massive followings — including Harry Sisson and Vitus Shehar — were in attendance, the outlet also noted, but it is unclear whether they or their peers were among those who had their student loans forgiven.

Neither Sisson, Shehar, nor the White House immediately responded Friday to a request for comment.

The Education Department declared Friday that it has helped approve student loan forgiveness for more than 4 million borrowers to the tune of $153 billion.

Biden, 81, campaigned for president in 2019 and 2020 on a pledge to forgive many categories of student loans, including a minimum of $10,000 forgiven per borrower and the entirety of loans owed by those making under $125,000.

After taking office, the president attempted to cancel $430 billion in student debt for 43 million borrowers through a 2003 law crafted for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans.

But the Supreme Court struck down his administration’s rule to approve the debt cancellation scheme as having unconstitutionally circumvented Congress.

Biden has since implemented separate loan forgiveness plans — which are currently being challenged in federal court — with one slated to cost an even higher $475 billion over the next decade.

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee ranking member Bill Cassidy (R-La.) has criticized the moves as an election-year “ploy” to shore up traditional Democratic constituencies.

“These loan schemes do not forgive debt. They transfer the debt from those who willingly took it on to the 87[%] of Americans who decided to not go to college or already worked to pay off their loans,” Cassidy said in a statement on Monday.

“This is an unfair ploy to buy votes before an election and does absolutely nothing to address the high cost of education that puts young people right back into debt.” 

Harris visited the swing state of Pennsylvania on Monday to tout other loan forgiveness actions, including $20,000 in accrued interest for more than 25 million student debtors who attended colleges and universities.

“Those loans will be completely forgiven regardless of your income and even if you did not graduate,” Harris proclaimed, before Rep. Dwight Evans (D-Pa.), who represents the Philadelphia-based district she visited, interjected to thank her for “not let[ting] the Supreme Court get in the way.”

Biden has turned to TikTokers and other social media influencers to reach young Americans as public polls show his campaign is floundering in battleground states with voters under the age of 30, blacks and Hispanics when compared with 2020 exit polls.

The White House last year even considered providing the youth netizens with their own briefing room inside the executive mansion, Axios reported in April 2023.

“We actually asked the White House, ‘When are we going to get press briefing passes?’” Sisson, then 20, told the outlet. “They were actually were very responsive to it.”

Sisson and others like TikToker Daniel Mac have also used their immense followings to plug the Biden administration’s agenda to their peers.

At the same time, the Biden White House has supported legislation that would force TikTok to divest from its Chinese government-linked and Beijing-based parent company ByteDance — potentially threatening those outreach efforts if another buyer cannot be found and the social media platform is banned in the US.

2024 © Network Today. All Rights Reserved.