Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, unloaded on “radical left elitists” as he defended his vote against President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan.
Golden’s leadership as co-chair of the moderate House Democratic Blue Dog Coalition was spotlighted by the Maine Beacon Friday after financial disclosures showed the group got a donation from student loan servicing giant Sallie Mae about two weeks after he voted against Biden’s plan.
He was one of just two Democrats to do so in the lower chamber.
“Sadly, this is what radical leftist elites are learning about ‘democracy’ these days — silence and destroy anyone who disagrees with your views or goals. I stand by my vote and my opposition to forking out $10,000 to people who freely chose to attend college,” Golden said in a statement posted to X, formerly Twitter.
He did not directly address the Maine Beacon or Sallie Mae’s donation, though he linked the relevant article in his post. Golden dismissed the scrutiny as a product of social media outrage.
“The Twitterati can keep bemoaning their privileged status and demanding handouts all they want, but as far as I’m concerned, if they want free money for college, they can join the Marines and serve the country like I, and so many others, have in the past, and many more will in the future,” Golden said.
“If they want a career and hard skills without college debt, they should join a union and enter an apprenticeship. But if they choose to attend college, they can pay back their loans just like working class people pay back home mortgages, car loans, and many other expenses that people choose to take out loans for.”
A House Republican-led bill aimed at repealing Biden’s student loan proposal, which has since been struck down by the Supreme Court, passed the House nearly along party lines in May.
Golden and his fellow Blue Dog co-chair, Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp-Perez, D-Wash., were the only Democrats who voted with the GOP to pass it. The measure also passed the Senate with some Democratic support but was eventually vetoed by the president.
On June 14, the Blue Dog Coalition received a $5,000 donation from Sallie Mae, according to public financial disclosures. It’s the maximum amount allowed under current law.
Biden has pledged his administration would pursue alternative pathways aimed at student debt forgiveness.
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