In a surprising rejection of the Trump administration’s outrageous pro-corruption agenda, nine Republican Senators have crossed the aisle to help Democrats roll back one of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ most heinous actions. With the help of a slew of Republicans, the motion to bring up the Borrower Defense Congressional Review Act, S.J. Res. 56, easily passed.
Wow. 9 GOPers Senators vote to knock down Devos rule making it harder to get student debt forgiveness.
Murkowski (R-AK), Sullivan (R-AK), McSally (R-AZ), Gardner (R-CO), Young (R-IN), Ernst (R-IA), Collins (R-ME), Hawley (R-MO), Portman (R-OH)…https://t.co/cRvEKG7uzA
— Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) March 10, 2020
One of DeVos’ first acts in government was to roll back President Obama’s “borrower defense” rules for protecting students who had been defrauded by scam for-profit colleges like the collapsed 28- campus Corinthian Colleges company.
Her new regulations would make it significantly harder for defrauded students to get what she saw as “free money” and place a three-year-limit for students to file claims. Students would now have to prove that they attempted and failed to get employment in their field in order to get debt relief, not just prove that the school lied to them. Students also have to file on a case-by-case basis, even when it’s obvious that the institution was ripping off all its students.
They also revoke the Obama administration’s extension of automatic debt cancellation to students whose colleges closed while they were still working on their degree and did not re-enroll in a new institution.
“We believe this final rule corrects the wrongs of the 2016 rule through common sense and carefully crafted reforms that hold colleges and universities accountable and treat students and taxpayers fairly,” said DeVos in an entirely meaningless statement accompanying the new rules.
Over $150 million of student debt has been canceled so far by the Obama team’s rules — far too much for DeVos, whose personal financial holdings include stakes in jackal companies that collect student loans and invest in for-profit colleges themselves.
But it appears that for once, Republicans are actually listening to their constituents and taking action to help students who didn’t do anything except try to educate themselves and improve their lot in life.
The vote is scheduled to be held tomorrow. The White House has already indicated they will veto the measure if it passes.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.