U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is again refuting any attempt by political critics to link student loan bailouts with the Paycheck Protection Program he helped bring to life during the pandemic.
During comments made on NBC 6 Sunday, Rubio insisted that the two programs have nothing in common despite both being rooted in federal loans.
“It’s not even the same thing. A PPP loan didn’t go to the business. The business didn’t make money off it. The PPP loans were designed to pay their workers. So the only thing you could use PPP money were to pay the salaries of your workers or the rent on your building so you wouldn’t get evicted. That was it. If we hadn’t done that then all of those workers would have been laid off or fired and they would have gone on the unemployment rolls. So we were going to pay for it either way,” Rubio said.
“So the question is, what is the better way to get money to workers, who are not being allowed to work, by the way. That’s the other thing you have to remember about PPP: the government was telling businesses ‘You’re not allowed to open. You’re not allowed to work.’ We were either going to do it through unemployment or through this program. So that’s the difference,” Rubio contended.
Rubio’s comments during the weekend television interview track with his previously expressed positions on the Joe Biden championed loan bailout.
“This payroll grant, structured deliberately as a forgivable loan, had one key condition: that 80% of the funds go to payroll,” Rubio asserted.
Rubio contended that while businesses should bear no responsibility for the pandemic and economic changes it brought, student debtors should have known the risks they were hazarding before signing up for classes on the federal dime.
“Let’s start with the obvious: federal student loans were just that, loans. The whole idea was that students would take the loans to pay for an education that would lead to a job that repays them,” he said.
Rubio has contrasted his position on loans with his opponent in the November General Election.
“Val Demings to Millions of Taxpayers: Screw You,” read an August email from the Rubio camp, condemning Demings for supporting President Biden’s “student loan bailout.”