Trump Vetos Measure on DeVos Loan Rules05/30 09:19
(AP) -- President Donald Trump on Friday vetoed a measure that would have
overturned a policy that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued in 2019 making
it harder for students to get their loans erased after being misled by
The Senate gave final approval to the bipartisan measure in March, dealing a
rare rebuke of DeVos from the Republican-led chamber. But Trump on Friday said
DeVos' rules are better than an Obama-era policy that would have been restored
if the measure succeeded.
In issuing his veto, Trump said the rules created by former President Barack
Obama "defined educational fraud so broadly that it threatened to paralyze the
nation's system of higher education."
He added that DeVos' policy "strikes a better balance, protecting students'
rights to recover from schools that defraud them while foreclosing frivolous
lawsuits that undermine higher education and expose taxpayers to needless loss."
Democrats condemned the move and promised a House vote to override the veto.
Rep. Susie Lee, D-Nevada, who led the the bill in the House, said the fight is
"far from over."
"President Trump sent a message to the American people that he cares more
about enriching predatory schools than protecting defrauded students and
veterans," Lee said.
A statement from the Education Department thanked Trump for the veto.
"This administration is committed to protecting all students from fraud and
holding all schools accountable when they fail their students," the department
said. "This administration's rule does just that, despite false claims from
Lawmakers moved to overturn DeVos' policy through the Congressional Review
Act, which allows Congress to overturn federal rules with a simple majority of
both chambers and approval of the president.
The resolution sought to strike down DeVos' changes to a policy known as
borrower defense to repayment, which erases federal student loans for borrowers
whose colleges commit fraud.
The policy dates to the 1990s but was expanded under Obama to forgive loans
for thousands of students who went to for-profit college chains that used false
claims to get them to enroll.
When DeVos took office, though, she suspended the rules and began writing
her own, saying the Obama policy allowed too many students to get their loans
erased at the expense of taxpayers.
Her changes were opposed by borrower advocates but embraced by for-profit
colleges, who said their industry had unfairly been targeted by the Obama
DeVos' 2019 update made it harder for students to get their loans discharged
by requiring them to prove their colleges knowingly misled them and caused
personal financial harm, among other changes.
Congress' effort to reverse the rules were supported by advocates for
military veterans, who make up a major share of students at for-profit colleges.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who led the measure in the Senate, said the veto
hurts veterans while helping DeVos and the "fraud merchants at the for-profit
"My question to the President: in four days did you forget those flag waving
Memorial Day speeches as you vetoed a bill the veterans were begging for?"
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said her chamber "will soon vote to overturn this
veto, which poses a grave harm to the financial security and futures of
The congressional measure was applauded by education advocates who said
DeVos' rules made it nearly impossible for defrauded students to get loans
James Kvaal, president of the Institute for College Access and Success, said
he was "crestfallen" by the veto.
"As a direct result of today's action, hundreds of thousands of students
cheated by colleges will have no way to get a fresh start," he said. "The
message to unscrupulous colleges is that there will be little or no
consequences for illegal wrongdoing."