WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) today released the following statement after President Donald Trump vetoed a bipartisan Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval (H.J.Res. 76) to overturn the U.S. Department of Education’s 2019 Borrower Defense rule that guts essential protections for student borrowers and taxpayers:
“With this veto, President Trump is siding with the predatory, for-profit colleges that seek to defraud our students and veterans,” said Senator Baldwin. “We have a student loan debt crisis in our country and instead of working to make things better, the Trump administration is making things worse for defrauded students who need relief. It’s infuriating that President Trump and Secretary DeVos are leaving Wisconsin students who have been defrauded by bad actors to fend for themselves, rather than standing up for our students to protect them from scams, fraud and abuse.”
The DeVos borrower defense rule makes it more difficult for borrowers who are defrauded by their school or harmed by their school’s closure to receive the relief to which they are entitled, and which Congress intended, under the Higher Education Act (HEA). There are at least 3,000 students in Wisconsin who have applied for relief and have not gotten an answer from Secretary DeVos or the Trump administration.
In September, Baldwin helped introduce the Senate version of the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn the DeVos rule, led by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). The House of Representatives voted on a bipartisan basis in January to pass its version of the measure, H.J.Res. 76, introduced by U.S. Representative Susie Lee (D-NV-03). The Senate passed the resolution in March on a 53-42 bipartisan vote. CRA resolutions of disapproval allow Congress to overturn regulatory actions of federal agencies with a simple majority vote in both chambers.
More than 30 veterans organizations called on President Trump to sign the measure. American Legion National Commander James “Bill” Oxford said, “Student veterans are a tempting target for certain online and for-profit schools to mislead with deceptive promises, while offering degrees and certificates of little-to-no value. We urge President Trump to sign House Joint Resolution 76, which allows for a ‘borrower defense’ to be used by students to obtain discharges to loans that were issued because of these false promises.”
The following organizations also supported overturning the DeVos rule: The Institute of College Access and Success, National Association of College Admissions Counseling, Student Veterans of America, Veterans Education Success, The Education Trust, National Education Association, Project on Predatory Student Lending, National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low income clients), Third Way, Americans for Financial Reform, Center for Responsible Lending, and American Federation of Teachers.