GOP House candidate condemns Biden's student loan forgiveness despite receiving PPP loans


Lori Chavez-DeRemer, a congressional candidate in Oregon, also claims the American Rescue Plan 'hurt the American people.' Meanwhile, her business accepted more than $1.3 million in forgiven PPP loans.

Republican House candidate Lori Chavez-DeRemer, who is running against Democrat Jamie McLeod-Skinner to represent Oregon's 5th Congressional District, has publicly criticized President Joe Biden's federal pandemic relief agenda and other government spending programs — even though she herself has benefited from pandemic relief funds from the federal government.

According to ProPublica's Tracking PPP database, Chavez-DeRemer's family business, Anesthesia Associates Northwest LLC, received loans of more than $1.3 million under the federal Paycheck Protection Program in 2020 and 2021. She and her husband Shawn run Anesthesia Associates together along with "several medical clinics throughout the Pacific Northwest," according to her campaign website.

The first loan of $664,100 was approved in April 2020 and forgiven in May 2021; the second loan of $664,102 was approved March 5, 2021, and forgiven in December 2021.

Chavez-DeRemer, the former mayor of Happy Valley, Oregon, is among several Republican candidates nationwide who have criticized government spending by the Biden administration despite businesses they run or created having accepted PPP loans.

"The Radical Left wants you to believe that Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan has done positive things for our country," Chavez-DeRemer said on Twitter in March. "The reality is, all it's done is hurt the American people and lead our economy to spiral out of control. The facts don't lie, but the Left does."

She also criticized the Biden administration's student loan forgiveness program, tweeting in September: "Americans know that Joe Biden's student loan giveaway will worsen Bidenflation and raise taxes. With inflation at an all-time high, hard-working Americans shouldn't have to foot the bill for more of the Radical Left's reckless spending."

Fact-checkers say that claims by Republicans that worsening inflation is the fault of the Biden administration's policies are untrue. A Reuters analysis of data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that prices for common items, a marker used to measure the severity of inflation, began increasing in 2020, before Biden took office.

Other countries are also suffering high levels of inflation: A June report by the Pew Research Center found that consumer prices rose significantly in almost 44 countries with advanced economies before the pandemic.

During an interview conducted by Willamette Week earlier this month with Chavez-DeRemer and McLeod-Skinner, Chavez-DeRemer was asked about the hypocrisy of someone with her wealth criticizing federal programs such as student loan forgiveness while herself taking a "Biden bailout." She responded:

I think it's just completely different when there's no choice, right? The government mandated we could not work. We could not employ our families. We could not cover that in our business. Paying people not to work is not a good plan, in my opinion, when they can go to work and have that choice. We were not offered that choice when it first came out, and we needed to make sure that we did not lose those employees during the height, and pack up and move somewhere else. That's what we were concerned with, and we would not have been able to cover that.

McLeod-Skinner's priorities, according to her campaign website, are stark in contrast to Chavez-DeRemer's:

We need a responsive government that provides critical physical and social infrastructure. That’s why we need to invest in affordable housing, healthcare, homecare, childcare, special and early childhood education, and affordable higher education that provides the skills so working people thrive in today’s changing economy, debt-free community college and trade programs (so unions aren’t left carrying that load), and a person’s right to choose.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which has endorsed McLeod-Skinner, issued a statement in May calling Chavez-DeRemer "completely out of step with Oregonians": "Jamie McLeod-Skinner understands the challenges Oregon families are facing, and she will be a fierce advocate for Oregon workers, families, and the environment in Congress. Meanwhile, Lori Chavez-DeRemer has proven time and time again that she's too extreme for Oregon – siding with dangerous election deniers and working to roll back women's reproductive freedoms."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.