Bennet Applauds Senate Action to Overturn Secretary DeVos’ Borrower Defense Rule

Washington, D.C. – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet applauded Senate passage of a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval overturning Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ borrower defense rule that gutted protections for student borrowers. Bennet is a cosponsor of the legislation. Earlier this year, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a similar measure on a bipartisan basis. Congressional Review Act resolutions of disapproval allow Congress to overturn regulatory actions of federal agencies with a simple majority vote in both chambers.  

“In Colorado, nearly 4,000 student borrowers, many of them veterans, are seeking financial relief after being deceived and defrauded by predatory schools. These students now face a mountain of debt with nothing to show for it,” said Bennet. “Instead of standing up for these students, Secretary DeVos implemented a rule to make it even more difficult for student borrowers to obtain relief. By overturning this rule, we are telling these students that the federal government is once again on their side.” 

Specifically, the DeVos borrower defense rule:

  • Cuts $11.1 billion in expected relief to students by making it more difficult for borrowers to obtain relief;
  • Increases the burden on defrauded borrowers to gather and submit hard-to-obtain evidence to prove their claim, including evidence that the school intentionally harmed them;
  • Requires borrowers to apply individually for relief rather than receiving automatic discharges when a group of borrowers has been harmed by widespread fraud or misconduct;
  • Establishes a statute of limitations on claims—expiring 3 years after leaving school—even though a school’s misconduct is often not discovered until many years thereafter;
  • Eliminates judgments against a school for misconduct as a sufficient ground for a borrower to receive a discharge;
  • Eliminates prohibition on class action bans and mandatory arbitration clauses from the 2016 rule—practices for-profit colleges often use to prevent students from suing them for misconduct;
  • Eliminates ability for borrower whose claims are denied from having their claims reconsidered with new evidence;
Eliminates the automatic closed school discharge provision from the 2016 rule for schools that close after July 1, 2020. The provision requires automatic discharge of loans for any borrower who has not enrolled in another Title IV program within three years of the school’s closure.