Newspaper article Roll Call

Fattah Could Have Avoided Some Trouble through Possible Student Loan Repayment

Newspaper article Roll Call

Fattah Could Have Avoided Some Trouble through Possible Student Loan Repayment

Article excerpt

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Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., was one of five members present in July 2002 when the House Administration Committee made the Student Loan Repayment Program a reality for the House of Representatives.

Perhaps, in hindsight, he should have allowed members of Congress -- not just full-time staff -- to participate in the program.

Fattah is charged with 29 counts of racketeering conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud. The allegations include a consultant making 34 successful loan payments on behalf of his son, Chaka Fattah Jr., to pay down his debt from Drexel University.

Had members of Congress been allowed to enroll in the same student loan reimbursement program their staff is eligible for, Fattah could have taken out a Parents PLUS loan, a federal student loan in his name but designated for Fattah Jr.'s education. He could have enrolled his office in the Student Loan Repayment Program and participated himself, receiving up to $10,000 a year toward the debt.

Roll Call's Wealth of Congress ranked Fattah at 530 out of 538 in 2014, with a negative net worth of $700,000. …

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