A Republican House representative and Penn graduate voted to tax private universities, including his alma mater, according to The Washington Post.
On Nov. 16, Trey Hollingsworth, a 2004 Wharton graduate and Indiana House Rep., supported the House bill to reform the tax code. The legislation calls for a $1.5 trillion tax cut along with measures to tax University endowments and graduate student tuition waivers, potentially making the cost of education unattainable for students.
The controversial bill has created dissent on campus, sparking protests by Penn graduate students last month.
In the early hours of Dec. 2, the Senate also passed the Republican tax bill, causing increased uncertainty for those affected by the bill's measures.
In a statement released on Nov. 16, Hollingsworth said his constituents would receive more of their “hard-earned paychecks.” He added that small businesses would “get back to creating jobs, innovating new products, and reinvesting in our local economies.”
Hollingsworth graduated from the Wharton School with concentrations both in legal studies and in business ethics and real estate and has a master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University. He is also one of the richest representatives in Congress, with an income of at least $58.5 million, according to financial disclosure reports.
During President Donald Trump's campaign, Hollingsworth also supported his fellow Wharton alumnus’ presidential candidacy, saying he “firmly [believed] that [Trump] is a better choice than Hillary Clinton,” according to the National Review.
Hollingsworth has consistently voted in favor of proposals to reduce government spending. On Sept. 8, he opposed a vote to increase funding for Hurricane Harvey relief. He also voted against the 2017 fiscal year appropriations bill on May 3, which included a provision to increase Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico.
In the Indiana fall 2016 election, Hollingsworth ran for the 9th District congressional seat as a Republican candidate. His campaign was met with controversy because he had only moved to Indiana a year before running for office.
Hollingsworth secured the GOP nomination, however, and later won the House spot. He currently works on the House Financial Services Committee, where he oversees issues including banking, insurance, and urban development.
"Getting Washington out of the way so that hardworking Americans can buy their first home, take out a loan, or get a job at a growing company is what Hoosiers elected me to do," Hollingsworth said on his website.