06.26.20

Chairman Scott Urges Colleagues to Stand with Defrauded Students By Overriding Presidential Veto of H.J. Res. 76

WASHINGTON – Chairman Scott delivered the following remarks during the floor debate to override President Trump’s veto of H.J. Res. 76, a Congressional Review Act resolution to reverse Secretary Betsy DeVos’ 2019 Borrower Defense rule. 

“I rise today in support of overriding President Trump’s veto of House Joint Resolution 76, a bipartisan Congressional Review Act resolution that would stop the Education Department’s harmful Borrower Defense rule from going into effect.

“I first want to recognize and thank the gentlelady from Nevada, Congresswoman Susie Lee, for her tireless efforts to protect students – particularly student veterans – from predatory schools. 

“Borrowers Defense is a valuable tool to provide relief to student borrowers who are defrauded by predatory institutions.  Unfortunately, instead of using the Department’s authority to make borrowers whole and give students a second chance at a quality education, it has gone out of its away to prevent victims of fraud from getting relief. 

“The Department’s rewrite of the Borrower Defense rule, which is set to go into effect on July 1, will mean that the vast majority of defrauded student borrowers will get virtually no relief.  

“Even in cases where schools clearly violate the law, defrauded victims can still be denied relief under the rule if they can’t show that the school intentionally defrauded them; can’t file their claim fast enough; or can’t document – according to the flawed Department methodology – exactly how much financial harm they suffered due to fraud.

“And, even those student borrowers who do receive partial relief are receiving significantly less relief than before.  Under Secretary DeVos, the average loan discharge amount for approved borrowers has dropped from over $11,000 to just $500.  For many students, zero relief will be available even if though they can prove massive fraud. Class actions are also not allowed under the rule, so each student must bring an individual case even though the school may have been found to have been guilty of egregious, systemic fraud.

“Democrats and Republicans came together earlier this year to pass a Congressional Review Act resolution that rejects this rule and prevents the Department of Education from denying borrowers the relief they deserve. 

 “A broad coalition – including veterans and military groups, consumer advocates, student advocates, and civil rights groups – called on the President to sign the congressional resolution and protect student borrowers from predatory schools.  But, while the President initially indicated support for the resolution, he ultimately chose to veto it.

“Today, the House has one final opportunity to ensure that defrauded students get the relief they deserve by overriding that veto.

“I urge my colleagues to vote to override the President’s veto, and I reserve the balance of my time.”

 

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