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15 November, 2022

Home Depot billionaire blocks President Biden’s student debt relief plan

icon Bernie Marcus,HOme Depot,Student Debt Relief
Home Depot billionaire blocks President Biden's student debt relief program

91 year old Home Depot billionaire gets tax cuts for himself but blocks Student Debt Relief. How? Follow the money.

Follow the money

Home Depot Billionaire blocks Student Debt Relief
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Background facts

  • Marcus and his wife were top donors to Donald Trump in past elections. They also donated $14.9 million to Republicans in the 2022 midterms, which includes a $1.75 million donation to Herschel Walker’s controversial Senate campaign in Georgia. - People's World
  • Judge Pittman was appointed by Trump. He is a federal judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas is vice president and a founding member of the Tarrant County Federalist Society—the local chapter of the influential conservative legal group primarily responsible for empowering the Supreme Court’s far-right rampage. - People's World
  • The Job Creators Network founded by Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus. (Influence Watch). JCNF has filed a lawsuit trying to halt the proposal laid out by President Joe Biden to cancel up to $20,000 in debt. - CBS News
  • Home Depot spent hundreds of thousands of dollars supporting the campaigns of the 147 members of the “Sedition Caucus,” the representatives who refused to certify the 2020 election on baseless claims of the “Big Lie.” - People's World
  • Leah Litman, a professor at the University of Michigan School of Law, wrote that the ruling "is just the latest example of Trump-appointed district judges doing completely outlandish, lawless things to rule against policies by Democratic administrations"... - MSN
Republicans hate student loan programs that help the middle class.

Billionaires oppose help for students

The Biden debt forgiveness program will cancel $10,000 in student loan debt for individuals making less than $125,000 a year or households making less than $250,000. Pell grant recipients, who typically demonstrate more financial need, will be eligible for an additional $10,000.

"While opponents of our plan are siding with special interests and trying every which way to keep millions of middle-class Americans in debt, the President and his Administration are fighting to lawfully give middle-class families some breathing room as they recover from the pandemic and prepare to resume loan payments in January," he said in a statement. - CBS News

Job Creators Network

The Job Creators Network (JCN) is a conservative U.S. advocacy group founded by Bernie Marcus, the co-founder and former CEO of Home Depot. The organization has received significant funding from the Mercer Family Foundation, the Marcus Foundation, and Phil Anschutz. - Wikipedia

Mark Pittman - Trump appointed judge

U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, declared the program "unlawful," citing the 2002 Higher Education Relief Opportunities For Students Act (HEROES), which gives the Education Department the ability to grant waivers to financial aid recipients. - CBS News

"Judge Pittman, a federal judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, isn’t much of a champion for democracy either. Pittman is vice president and a founding member of the Tarrant County Federalist Society—the local chapter of the influential conservative legal group primarily responsible for empowering the Supreme Court’s far-right rampage. The Federalist Society is the largest donor to the consulting firm that assisted the Job Creators Network in their lawsuit that Judge Pittman then ruled in favor of." - People's World

Marcus' funded lawsuit

  • JCNF case plaintiffs who brought the Texas lawsuit both hold student loans. The first plaintiff, Myra Brown, sued because her loans are commercially-held and therefore ineligible for Biden's debt relief, which requires the borrower to owe their debt directly to the federal government. The other plaintiff, Alexander Taylor, sued because he was eligible only for $10,000 in debt forgiveness and not the full $20,000 since he did not receive a Pell Grant in college. MSN
  • Plaintiff took $48,000 in PPP loan forgiveness. Myra Brown, claims to be harmed by the debt relief program because she’s not eligible for it since private companies funded her student loans. Evidently, the $48,000 PPP loan forgiveness she received for her sign-making business in April of this year. - People's World

Legal experts question Pittman ruling. Legal experts weren't sold on the merits of the ruling. Steve Vladeck, a CNN legal analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law, wrote in an opinion piece that "the biggest problem with Pittman's ruling isn't its substance; it's why he allowed the case to be brought in the first place." Vladeck referenced prior conservative lawsuits seeking to challenge the debt relief that had been dismissed for lack of standing, and that if "the complaint is just that the government is acting unlawfully in a way that doesn't affect plaintiffs personally, that's a matter to be resolved through the political process – not a judicial one."

Lawless. Leah Litman, a professor at the University of Michigan School of Law, wrote on Twitter that the ruling "is just the latest example of Trump-appointed district judges doing completely outlandish, lawless things to rule against policies by Democratic administrations," referring to what she said was a lack of standing on the plaintiffs' side.

Playing politics - Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren also slammed the ruling, that "we have a court down in Texas, and if they're going to play politics instead of actually following the law, they do put the program at risk." - MSN

Funding Herschel Walker campaign

Marcus and his wife were top donors to Donald Trump in past elections. They also donated $14.9 million to Republicans in the 2022 midterms, which includes a $1.75 million donation to Herschel Walker’s controversial Senate campaign in Georgia. Original reports attributed the Walker donation to Home Depot, spurring the company to clarify in a tweet that the almost $2 million political contribution was from their former CEO and not the company itself. - People's World

The most generous among them is Bernie Marcus, cofounder of Atlanta-based Home Depot. A longtime GOP donor, Marcus handed $1.75 million to a super PAC called 34N22. - Forbes

Biden offers relief for students, seniors and working Americans

#BoycottHomeDepot

The center-left watchdog group Accountable.US compiled data revealing that Home Depot made $360,000 in donations to at least 60 recipients, many of whom were lawmakers that objected to the election's results. - Newsweek

TakeAway: Students deserve better. Demand Republicans stop catering to their wealthy donors and subverting the courts in the process.

Deepak
DemLabs


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