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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 
for-profit colleges.

   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 
many corners."

   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?" 
Durbin said.

   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 
America's students."

   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."

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