Congress Passes Bill Overturning Ed. Dept. Changes to Student Loan Debt Relief Rule

The Senate yesterday joined the House of Representatives in passing legislation aimed at overturning a rule from the Department of Education that would have limited which individuals are entitled to debt relief for their unpaid student loans, which could end up being a symbolic move if President Trump decides to veto the legislation.

Ten Republican Senators joined Democrats in passing the legislation by a vote of 53-42. The legislation, H.J.Res.76, would undo changes made by Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education, that required individuals who were defrauded by for-profit colleges and universities to prove they were financially harmed in order to have their student loans forgiven.

Under rules instituted by former President Barack Obama, students could have their loans forgiven if a school employed illegal or deceptive practices to encourage the students to take out student loans. DeVos said the rules were too easy for students to receive student loan forgiveness.

“It’s disappointing to see so many in Congress fooled by misinformation from the Left and the fake news narrative about our efforts to protect students from fraud,” said Department of Education spokeswoman Angela Morabito, according to a published report. “Students, including veterans, who are defrauded by their school and suffer financial harm as a result deserve relief, and our rule provides them relief,” she added.

Whether the proposed legislation becomes law is now in the hands of President Trump. A policy statement that was circulated last month said his advisors would recommend vetoing the legislation, according to a published report. It is unlikely that Democrats in Congress can convince enough Republicans to overturn the veto.

A federal judge had ordered DeVos and the Education Department to stop collecting on those loans, an order that she and her department ignored. That led to a fine of $100,000.

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