Former Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell of Florida, a strong proponent of forgiving trillions of dollars worth of student debt as well as her own, owns a $3 million mansion.
Mucarsel-Powell, who served for one term as the representative for Florida’s 26th congressional district, is also running to receive the Democratic Party’s nomination to challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Rick Scott.
Mucarsel-Powell and her husband, Robert Powell bought their home in Pinecrest, Florida in 2009 for $1.15 million. The 4,600-square-foot mansion, which boasts six bedrooms and five bathrooms, is now worth more than $3 million. (Related: Taxpayer money going down the drain: Biden circumvents SC decision, cancels $72M in student debt.)
Despite having a lot of money to her name, Mucarsel-Powell still wants help with her student loans. According to her 2021 financial disclosure, she owes anywhere from $15,001 to $50,000 in student loans. In February 2019, Mucarsell-Powell was recorded complaining about how she and her husband – who owes up to $100,000 in student debt – were still making student loan payments.
“I’m still paying my student loans, so is my husband, my sister and close friends,” she wrote on Twitter. “We must tackle #StudentDebt and make education affordable.”
While in the House of Representatives in 2019, Mucarsel-Powell also co-sponsored a bill known as the No Student Loan Interest Act which would have canceled interest on certain federal student loans.
“The student debt issue is exactly the same issue we’ve had with healthcare in this country, a third-payer system where the consumer loses and only the financial institutions profit,” she said at the time.
Mucarsel-Powell’s husband made enough money in two years to pay off both of their student loans
Mucarsel-Powell attracted controversy in July 2018 when The Daily Beast reported that her husband Robert Powell made nearly $700,000 in just two years while working for Ukrainian billionaire and oligarch Ilhor Kolomoisky.
Kolomoisky allegedly has connections to “billion-dollar criminal schemes and contract killings” that made Powell’s work with him “highly suspicious” and drew significant concern from longtime watchers of the relationship between Ukraine and the United States. The Ukrainian government has also accused Kolomoisky of laundering more than $130 million.
“When you work for a guy like that, you know what you’re dealing with,” said Edward Chow, a senior fellow for the think tank the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “There should be no illusion of what you’re dealing with, even if the business you have to conduct for him in the United States is completely clean. You know where the wealth came from. There should be no reason not to know because everyone knows.”
Despite the clear influx of wealth into her family, Mucarsel-Powell is still adamant that she and the rest of the U.S. needs student debt relief. After Republicans made historic gains in Florida during the midterm elections in 2022, Mucarsel-Powell took to Twitter to criticize young Floridians – nearly half of whom lean or are registered as Democrats – for not fighting hard enough to elect Democrats like her who are in favor of student loan forgiveness.
“Students and Gen-Z’s, take a look at what happens when you don’t participate, engage and vote for representatives that will put you and your future first,” she wrote at the time. “Republicans went to court to try and block [student loan] relief, Democrats won’t stop fighting for it.”
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