Senate votes to reverse DeVos student loan rule

Senate Democrats, joined by a handful of Republicans, voted on Wednesday to reverse a Department of Education rule they say reduces protections for student borrowers. 

Senators voted 53-42 to block the rule, which was crafted by Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosHouse chairman blasts Trump's push to reopen schools as 'dangerous' CDC to issue more guidance on school openings amid Trump criticism The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Teachers' union President Randi Weingarten calls Trump administration plan to reopen schools 'a train wreck'; US surpasses 3 million COVID-19 cases MORE

The bill has already passed the House, sending it to President TrumpDonald John TrumpKimberly Guilfoyle reports being asymptomatic and 'feeling really pretty good' after COVID-19 diagnosis Biden says he will rejoin WHO on his first day in office Lincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad MORE’s desk. The White House has warned that they will recommend he veto the bill. 


The rule would put restrictions on an Obama-era "borrower defense" rule that was meant to regulate the for-profit sector and protect students who had been misled by colleges. DeVos has argued that students should have to prove they were financially harmed.

The more restrictive rule would give full relief only to students who earn much less than students in similar programs. Under the new formula, the remaining students would have no more than 75 percent of their loans forgiven.

“DeVos has decided to change the way that students have to go through proving up their losses, and that’s why we’re here today,” Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinHillicon Valley: Facebook takes down 'boogaloo' network after pressure | Election security measure pulled from Senate bill | FCC officially designating Huawei, ZTE as threats Overnight Defense: Democrats blast Trump handling of Russian bounty intel | Pentagon leaders set for House hearing July 9 | Trump moves forward with plan for Germany drawdown Democrats, voting rights groups pressure Senate to approve mail-in voting resources MORE (D-Ill.) said on the Senate floor.

Republicans largely supported the Trump administration rule, arguing the changes helped protect against potential abuse of taxpayer dollars.

"I don't have any doubt about the intent of the law and that the intention is good, but the concept is far too broad ... [and] is ripe for abuse," said Sen. John CornynJohn CornynLincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad Chamber of Commerce endorses Cornyn for reelection George Floyd and the upcoming Texas Democratic Senate runoff MORE (R-Texas). 

Because Democrats are forcing the vote under the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to try to strike down executive regulations, they only need a simple majority rather than the 60 votes normally required by the Senate.