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President Trump Vetoes Bipartisan Resolution to Prevent 2019 Harmful Student Debt Rule

Friday, May 29, 2020
Ashley Harrington

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, President Donald Trump vetoed H.J. Res. 76, a resolution which would have invalidated the Department of Education’s 2019 harmful Borrower Defense (BD) Rule. The 2019 rule weakens accountability for predatory for-profit colleges and prevents defrauded students from accessing relief.

Center for Responsible Lending Federal Advocacy Director and Senior Counsel Ashley Harrington released the following statement:

Despite bipartisan Congressional support, and advocacy by several veterans groups, the Trump Administration has once again chosen to shield predatory for-profit institutions at the expense of students and taxpayers. We strongly urge Congress to override the President’s veto so that tens of thousands of students are not subjected to institutions like ITT Tech and Corinthian Colleges, schools whose widespread abuses left thousands of students wondering how to recover the time and money they invested after they abruptly collapsed. If Congress doesn’t override the President’s veto, Secretary DeVos’ 2019 harmful Borrower Defense Rule will go into effect this summer making it nearly impossible for future defrauded students to access relief and taxpayers to recoup their wasted and misused dollars.

In the wake of the 2008 recession, enrollment in predatory for-profit colleges exploded given the lack of accountability and oversight. Predatory institutions like ITT Tech, Corinthian Colleges, and the Art Institutes saw enrollments climbing up to 64% between 2007 and 2010 and experienced even bigger profits despite the fact that they were doing very little to educate students. We are already seeing growth in this sector despite the widespread disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We need strong accountability for these institutions so that they do not continue defrauding students and wasting taxpayer dollars. These institutions target people of color and veterans, saddling some of the most vulnerable among us with a lot of debt and little else.

People of color are already disproportionately affected by the current health crisis our nation is facing and are more likely to experience the negative economic impacts of the pandemic. Now, more than ever, we need to support students and provide a pathway to a high-quality, affordable higher education system that generates opportunity and economic security. We urge Congress to once again stand up for students and vote to override this veto. We demand relief for defrauded students and accountability for for-profits.

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Press Contact: Vincenza Previte - vincenza.previte@responsiblelending.org