IOWA — President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced a plan to forgive student loan debt for thousands of borrowers. Americans earning less than $125,000 per year are eligible for up to $10,000 in forgiveness. Those who received Pell Grants are eligible for more relief. The president has argued the action will free up borrowers from those payments and hopefully provide an influx of spending.
Among those speaking out against the plan is Iowa Senator Charles Grassley who argues non-students shouldn’t have to pay the loans of others. In his social media shorthand, Grassley posted on Twitter:
“Ppl making up to $125,000 or a couple making up to $250,000 are getting student loans paid for by everyone else who didn’t go to college or paid their own loans. Will fuel further inflation hurting those who can least afford it UNFAIR”Senator Charles Grassley, (R) Iowa via Twitter
While Grassley is opposed to the financial relief for students, he and his family have a long history of accepting agricultural relief payments from the federal government.
According to public records obtained by the Environmental Working Group and available in their online database, Senator Grassley and his family have collected more than $1.75 million in federal farm subsidies in the last two decades.
Robin Grassley, the Senator’s son, has collected the bulk of those subsidies. Since 1995 he’s been paid $1,312,787 in various subsidies. The overwhelming majority of that – $1,154,156 – is listed as being paid as ‘commodity subsidies’. Those payments are made when actual crop prices drop below a level set by Congress. The federal government then pays farmers the expected price of their crops as opposed to the actual value determined by free markets.
Charles E. Grassley, the senator, is listed as collecting $430,603 in subsidies from 1995-2020. Of that, $364,031 were commodity subsidies. The EWG database also lists payments to Patrick Grassley, the senator’s grandson and the Speaker of the Iowa House. Since 2005, the younger Grassley has received $34,791 in farm subsidies. Of that, $30,312 were commodity subsidies.
|Name||Conservation Subsidies||Disaster Subsidies||Commodity Subsidies||Total Subsidies Paid|
|Charles E. Grassley||$24,501||$42,071||$364,031||$430,603|
Senator Grassley has been serving in Congress since 1975. As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee he helped craft the Farm Bill that created the current farm subsidy program.