HOUSE DEMOCRATS DENOUNCE BETSY DEVOS’ DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION “BORROWERS DEFENSE RULE”

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[Department of Education\"Borrower's Defense Rule"]
Rep. Scott: "Instead of maintaining the Obama-era Borrower Defense rule, which provides a fair and streamlined process to provide debt relief to defrauded students, the Department of Education has finalized a new Borrower Defense rule that prevents an overwhelming majority of defrauded students from getting relief they deserve."
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

This week, Congressional Democrats voted to block the Betsy Devos Department of Education's "Borrowers Defense Rule," which has had negative effects on college students suffering from debt.

Several Democrats have denounced this rule, including Virginia Representative Robert C. “Bobby” Scott and California Congresswoman Barbara Lee.

Rep. Scott issued the following statement as the House voted to pass H.J.Res.76. This resolution was House Democrats first use of the Congressional Review Act, which reverses the Department of Education’s harmful Borrower Defense rule, which would deny debt relief to students defrauded by predatory colleges.

"The students we are trying to protect are victims of widespread, proven fraud from predatory schools about graduation rates, job placement rates, and transferability of credits. Fortunately, the law currently provides relief. But instead of maintaining the Obama-era Borrower Defense rule, which provides a fair and streamlined process to provide debt relief to defrauded students, the Department of Education has finalized a new Borrower Defense rule that prevents an overwhelming majority of defrauded students from getting relief they deserve.

“We should provide meaningful relief for defrauded students by making defrauded students whole. That is the right thing to do, but it is not the only thing we should do. We must ensure that students and taxpayers are not defrauded in the first place. That is why we must pass the College Affordability Act – a comprehensive overhaul of our higher education system that cracks down on low-quality, predatory schools. The College Affordability Act also holds schools accountable for students’ success and cuts the cost of college for students and families across the country.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.J.RES. 76.

Students defrauded by predatory, for-profit colleges are often left with crushing debt, useless degrees, and none of the job opportunities they were promised.

“Yet, Secretary DeVos has refused to help these students, and instead is enriching these dangerous for-profit colleges. Since taking office, Secretary DeVos has refused to provide relief to borrowers defrauded by their colleges, eliminated key consumer protections in higher education, and weakened safeguards that prevent low-quality schools from receiving billions in taxpayer dollars.

“That’s why we took action to ensure defrauded students get relief and to stop Secretary DeVos from shifting the cost from predatory, for-profit colleges to taxpayers. With this vote, we are working to reverse DeVos’ latest giveaway to predatory schools. Under the new DeVos rule, defrauded borrowers can be denied relief even in cases when predatory schools clearly violate the law. For the few borrowers who get relief, the cost will likely be paid by taxpayers, not the schools that committed fraud.

“Make no mistake: Secretary DeVos never should have been confirmed. This is yet another example in a long line of policies she has enacted that prioritize her wealthy friends over our students. We must keep fighting back against her dangerous and disastrous policies and ensure that everyone has access to high- quality, affordable education.”

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