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Elizabeth Warren Moves Resolution to Overturn Borrower Defense Rule

A group of lawmakers has moved a resolution seeking a retraction of many measures proposed in the new Borrower Defense Rules rewritten by Betsy DeVos-led Department of Education.

Led by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and U.S. Representative Susie Lee (D-Nev.) and joined by more than two dozen lawmakers in the Senate, the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution disapproves the new regulations and terms them anti-student.

The resolution expressed major concern over the defense rule by increasing the burden on defrauded borrowers to gather and submit evidence to prove their claims. It makes practically impossible for students who have been defrauded by higher education programs to cancel their debts.

“Since the day she took office, Betsy DeVos has been boosting her friends in the for-profit college industry at the expense of America’s students,” said Senator Warren. “Congress needs to step up and block DeVos from rolling back more essential protections.”

The new Institutional Accountability regulations were made public in the last week of August. It allows the student borrowers to claim repayment against institutions whether the loan is in default or in collection proceedings. Affected students can file a defense to repayment claims three years from either the student’s date of graduation or withdrawal from the institution.

The overall practice would save the taxpayers $11.1 billion over the 2020-2029 loan cohorts.

Various quarters have already raised concerns over the regulations fearing that it would constitute a reversal from the strong protections issued under the Obama administration in the wake of scandals at for-profit schools.

“The rule eliminates the possibility for group claims, so each individual borrower will have to come forward with evidence, a tactic meant to stop people fighting back as one,” American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said in a statement in August.

Many propositions in the regulations would be scrapped if the resolution is voted by a simple majority in both chambers.

The Education Department is currently battling a class-action lawsuit filed by nearly 160,000 former for-profit college students for not processing the claims of loan forgiveness under the Obama-era Borrower Defense Regulations, aimed at providing relief to debt-ridden students defrauded by higher education programs.

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