Trump Sides With DeVos Over Veterans, Vetoes Measure To Block Student Loan Rules
President Donald Trump sided with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over the protests of veterans groups to veto a measure that would have blocked new rules restricting access to student loan forgiveness.
The New York Times reported that Trump vetoed a bipartisan resolution that would have overturned new regulations that “toughen standards established under the Obama administration for student borrowers seeking to prove their colleges defrauded them and to have their federal loans erased.”
Veterans groups raised concerns that the move will “harm veterans bilked by unscrupulous for-profit colleges.”
Under the new rules, borrowers could be denied forgiveness even if they show they were victims if they are unable to prove that their earnings were adversely affected.
The Times said “DeVos’s changes raised the bar for borrower relief claims, requiring applicants to individually prove that a school knowingly misled them and, even if students were bilked, that they were financially harmed by the deception.”
The changes also impose a three-year deadline for filing claims.
The new rules will take effect on July 1.
In his veto statement, Trump said the bipartisan resolution “sought to reimpose an Obama-era regulation that defined educational fraud so broadly that it threatened to paralyze the nation’s system of higher education.”
He added that “The Department of Education’s rule strikes a better balance, protecting students’ rights to recover from schools that defraud them while foreclosing frivolous lawsuits.”
The Times noted that Trump was put into something of a bind with the decision, because it forced him to choose between his own Education Secretary and dozens of veterans groups.
Those groups “said the rule failed to protect military service members who have long been the targets of predatory tactics by colleges because of their lucrative G.I. benefits.”
According to the report, “Several groups, led by Veterans Education Success, began running advertisements on Fox News programs urging Mr. Trump to sign the resolution, which Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent to the White House last week.”
The American Legion, a nonpartisan group representing two million members, said “DeVos’s rule would make it ‘nearly impossible’ for cheated veterans to use it.”
“Veterans have been aggressively targeted due to their service to our country,” wrote the legion’s national commander, James W. Oxford, in a statement on Friday. “Student veterans are a tempting target for certain online and for-profit schools to mislead with deceptive promises, while offering degrees and certificates of little-to-no value.”
The Times reported that Democrats have vowed to overturn Trump’s veto, but gathering the necessary two-thirds support in the House and Senate will likely prove impossible.