Washington, D.C. — Today, most House Republicans voted against overriding President Donald Trump’s veto of a bipartisan joint resolution that would have overturned a harmful 2019 regulation by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. The regulation made the borrower relief process less friendly to borrowers by setting unrealistic standards for evidence and making it impossible for groups of defrauded borrowers to receive relief. This was President Trump’s first veto of domestic policy. Its override required two-thirds approval by the House and Senate, and it failed in the House by a 238-173 vote.
Ben Miller, vice president for Postsecondary Education at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:
Secretary Betsy DeVos has repeatedly put the interests of exploitative schools before students, and today almost the whole House minority showed its willingness to side with her. From the start, this administration has sat on its hands while tens of thousands more borrowers lawfully seek relief. And it has denied significant relief to students inarguably ripped off by predatory actors such as Corinthian Colleges through innumerate formulas that do things such as deny full relief to borrowers for not having negative earnings.
This decision comes on the heels of overwhelming support to rebuke Secretary DeVos’ rule from a diverse group of stakeholders, including student veterans, consumer and civil rights advocates, 20 state attorneys general, and 10 Senate Republicans that were needed to get the bill to the president’s desk.
The harm caused by the Trump administration’s refusal to process the claims of these students is further substantiated by additional factors: Congressional Democrats have called for an investigation into DeVos’ loan forgiveness formula; a recent class-action lawsuit was filed against DeVos on behalf of students whose claims for loan cancellation have stalled; and the House Committee on Education and Labor has released a detailed report of how DeVos has delayed and denied borrower defense relief.
More than 140,000 students have pending borrower defense applications awaiting adjudication, and more than 45,000 students have been deemed ineligible for relief.
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