But Trump said in a veto message that he was respecting DeVos’ rule because it would “protect students and taxpayers.” He said the policy would create “a fair process” that “will bring deserved relief to students aggrieved by their educational institutions.”
This is the eighth time Trump has vetoed legislation since taking office – and the first on a domestic policy issue.
The Congress Review Act resolution now returns to Congress, where the House or Senate is unlikely to be able to override Trump’s veto.
House leaders are gearing up for a priority vote on July 1, but it doesn’t look like they have the votes to do so. The legislation initially cleared the House in January on a 231-180 vote, well below the required two-thirds majority.
In the Senate, the measure also failed to pass by a veto, although 10 Republicans broke with DeVos and joined Democrats in a 53-42 vote in March. It is not known whether Senate leaders will propose a priority vote.
The White House had previously threatened to veto the legislation as it passed through the House and Senate earlier this year. But Trump told GOP senators in a private meeting that he was “neutral” on the resolution.
Veterans groups have been pushing fiercely for Trump to sign the measure, running Fox News TV ads about it this week.
In a statement Friday before the veto, James “Bill” Oxford, the national commander of the American Legion, said the group “hoped President Trump would come to the aid of veteran students again,” and that DeVos’ reign has made it “almost impossible for veterans to be successful” in getting a loan forgiveness if they were deceived by a school.
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, who led the effort to overthrow the DeVos regime, called Trump’s veto “a victory for Education Secretary DeVos and the merchants. of fraud in for-profit colleges ”. He added: “My question to the President: In four days, have you forgotten those Memorial Day flag-waving speeches as you vetoed a bill that veterans were calling for?”
Representative Susie Lee (D-Nev.), Who was the main sponsor of the resolution in the House, said Trump’s veto “sent a message to the American people that they care more about enriching schools in the United States. predators than to protect defrauded students and veterans.
Trump’s veto, barring a successful waiver, paves the way for DeVos’ rule to take effect on July 1, as expected. DeVos Rule Revises Obama-Era Debt Relief Standards, Known As “The Borrower’s Defense,” Which Were Finalized In 2016 In Response To Misconceptions By For-Profit Colleges .
DeVos finalized a rewrite of the Obama-era rule last fall, criticizing the previous administration’s approach as offering a gift of “free money” to students at the expense of taxpayers.
DeVos policy sets higher standards when the government wipes out the debt of students who claim to have been misled or deceived by their colleges. It will apply to all future loans disbursed from July.
The Education Department estimated that the stricter rules would reduce loan cancellations by hundreds of millions of dollars each year, compared to the policy of the Obama era, saving taxpayers more than $ 11 billion. dollars over the next decade.
The Obama-era regulations were designed to provide relief to borrowers. DeVos and some Tory critics said the standard was too broad, costly for taxpayers, and punished unintentional college mistakes.
The Trump administration’s new rule will also remove an Obama-era policy that largely prohibits colleges that receive federal aid from requiring their students to resolve their disputes through arbitration – rather than a court or a class action lawsuit against the school.
DeVos began fighting Obama-era regulations upon taking office and for more than three years lobbied to reverse the previous administration’s approach to loan forgiveness.
DeVos sought to delay the settlements, only to be shot down by a federal court last year, which ruled she had illegally postponed them. She has also clashed several times with Democrats, who accused her of being stingy and unfair to struggling students.