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 DeVos.
The bill has already passed the House, sending it to President Trump’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 Durbin (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 Cornyn (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.