Together, 53 federal lawmakers owe millions in student debt

Data also include loans of family members

Dozens of members of Congress are still paying off student loans that total as much as much $4.1 million, Brianna Gurciullo reports for the Center for Responsive Politics' (CRP) "OpenSecrets Blog."

While the majority of federal lawmakers are millionaires, "there's at least one way in which many members of Congress can understand the plight of millions of Americans: They owe tens of thousands of dollars in student loans," Gurciullo writes.

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According to CRP's analysis of financial-disclosure forms filed by members of Congress, 53 lawmakers or their family members—including nonvoting members of the House and three senators—owed an average of between $30,567 and $77,925 in 2014. The total amount of student loan debt was between $1.6 million and $4.1 million (members of Congress report their assets and liabilities in financial ranges).

A total of 47 members collectively owed between $1.8 million and $4.6 million in 2013, Gurciullo reports. And 2014 was the second year in a row that the number of members with student-loan debt increased.

This year, the lawmakers with the most student debt were:

  1. Rep. John Carter (R-Texas), with between $100,001 and $250,000 in loans:
  2. Rep. Grace Meng (D-New York) with between $100,001 and $250,000;
  3. Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-California), with between $100,001 and $250,000;
  4. Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kansas), with between $80,003 and $250,000; and
  5. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Virginia), with between $55,003 and $165,000.

Twelve of the 21 members of Congress that reported a negative net worth in 2014 had outstanding student loans (Gurciullo, "OpenSecrets Blog," Center for Responsive Politics, 12/1).

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