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Bonamici Votes to Block DeVos Rule that Hurts Defrauded Students

01.16.20

WASHINGTON, DC – Today Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Chair of the Education and Labor Committee’s Civil Rights and Human Services Subcommittee, supported a House vote to block a Trump administration rule that would hurt students who have been defrauded by unscrupulous for-profit institutions.

Hundreds of thousands of students, including thousands in Oregon, were left with burdensome loans and useless degrees after the collapse of Corinthian Colleges and other for-profit institutions that engaged in deceptive practices. When these and other large for-profit institutions closed, the Obama administration created the Borrower Defense rule to establish a process to provide defrauded students with relief.

The Department of Education under the Trump administration has repeatedly delayed implementation of this Borrower Defense rule, and then rewrote this rule in 2019 to make it significantly more difficult for students to obtain relief. According to the Department’s own estimate, only about 3 percent of defrauded borrowers’ loan debt would be dismissed under the new rule. 

The Congressional Review Act of Secretary DeVos’ 2019 Borrower Defense Rule would reverse this harmful new regulation. Video of Bonamici speaking in favor of the Congressional Review Act can be found here.

“The initial Borrower Defense rule was designed to provide defrauded students with the debt relief they are entitled to receive under the Higher Education Act,” Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici said on the House floor. “Unfortunately, Secretary DeVos rewrote the rule to make it nearly impossible for future students who are victimized by deceptive institutions to get the relief they need and deserve.”

Bonamici is an outspoken advocate for student loan borrowers and has led efforts to protect students and taxpayers from predatory for-profit colleges. She recently pressed DeVos about her decision to continue to demand loan repayment from students who were defrauded by for-profit institutions during an Education and Labor hearing.

The Congresswoman has supported the gainful employment and borrower defense rules, which are aimed at reining in predatory for-profit colleges, and has spoken out following efforts by this Department to weaken these and other consumer protections for borrowers.  

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Natalie Crofts, 202-754-1649



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