Hoaxes & Rumors

Are Children of Congress Members Exempt From Paying Back Student Loans?

Are Children of Congress Members Exempt From Paying Back Student Loans?

An email chain letter states that children of members of Congress are exempt from paying back student loans. Is this rumor true?

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It’s not true.

First let’s take a look at the chain letter, which has been circulating for a couple of years.

Children of congress members do not have to pay back their college student loans. How nice for them!

Monday on Fox news they learned that the staffers of Congress family members are exempt from having to pay back student loans. This will get national attention if other news networks will broadcast it. When you add this to the below, just where will all of it stop?

35 States file lawsuit against the Federal Government

Governors of 35 states have filed suit against the Federal Government for imposing unlawful burdens upon them. It only takes 38 (of the 50) States to convene a Constitutional Convention.

This will take less than thirty seconds to read. If you agree, please pass it on.

This is an idea that we should address.

For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws. The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform. in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn’t seem logical We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don’t care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever. The self-serving must stop.

If each person that receives this will forward it on to 20 people, in three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one proposal that really should be passed around.

Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution: “Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States.”

You are one of my 20.

According to FactCheck.org, this rumor stems from comments made by Dick Morris on the Sean Hannity show on Fox in 2010. In these comments he claimed that, “…staff in the House of Representatives and in the Senate do not pay student loans back…The government pays it for them.”

As you can see, even the original comment did not mention children of Congress members receiving any sort of exemption to paying back student loans. What Morris was referring to, and his statement is somewhat misleading, is that some full-time House and Senate employees participate in student pay-back plans, some of which help pay for a portion of the loans. In a very few of these cases, a staffer may have the loan paid back in full. These plans were modeled after similar programs that exist for federal employees. Staffers are required to remain on the job for a least a year in order to be eligible to participate in the program and there is a $40,000 maximum lifetime benefit.

There are House and Senate versions as spelled out in the US Code. Take a look at the Student loan repayment program for Senate employees, as spelled out in Title 2 of the US Code:

(b) Senate student loan repayment program
(1) Service agreements
(A) In general
The head of an employing office and an eligible employee may enter into a written service agreement under which –
(i) the employing office shall agree to repay, by direct payments on behalf of the eligible employee, any student loan
indebtedness of the eligible employee that is outstanding at the time the eligible employee and the employing office enter
into the agreement, subject to this section; and
(ii) the eligible employee shall agree to complete the 1-year required period of employment described in subsection
(c)(1) of this section with the employing office in exchange for the student loan payments.

These loan payback programs do not apply to political appointees, nor does it apply to children of those in Congress.

35 Governors Filing Lawsuits

As ominous as this sounds, it’s completely untrue because such a lawsuit would be filed by the State Attorney General, not the Governor. Further, it is also not the Governor’s job to call for a Constitutional Convention. That would be up to each state’s legislature.

28th Amendment

The 28th Amendment as suggested in the chain letter above has been circulated online for years. No such legislation is currently pending. Further, the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 for the most part already sealed many of these types of loopholes that Congress used to enjoy.

The fact that this email asks you to forward it to 20 friends relegates this to nothing more than a chain letter with out of context facts and downright fictitious claims.

If you’ve received this chain letter, forward the sender a link to this article in response. Perhaps this will help  stop the mindless chain letter from proliferating further.

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