It’s very rare that we see the Republican-controlled Senate vote against the Trump administration. The only thing more surprising than Betsy DeVos still having a job is Republicans voting to repeal a rule she created.
According to the New York Times, a rare instance of bipartisanship occurred when the Senate voted to revoke a rule implemented by the Trump administration. The rule, drafted by Education Secretary DeVos, would make it harder for students to seek debt relief from schools that attracted them with inaccurate data on their prospects and earning potential post-graduation.
The rule was a part of DeVos’ continuous efforts to rewrite numerous debt relief efforts put in place by the Obama administration. The previous rule allowed students who had been defrauded by their schools to apply for loan forgiveness. DeVos’ changes to the rule made that process significantly harder for students. Under the new rule, students would have to prove on their own that the school intentionally lied to them and put them under financial duress. Additionally, a three-year deadline was instituted for claims and even if relief is granted it’s only partial and students are still responsible for paying off the majority of the amount borrowed.
Those against the changes argued the new requirements make it virtually impossible for affected students to get relief. Republican lawmakers—ten to be exact—got on board when it was pointed out this rule could also prevent veterans defrauded out of their G.I Bill money from getting relief. No word yet on whether President Trump will sign the legislation overturning the rule or veto it. Given that this is the man who put his name on Trump University, I think we know what he’ll choose.
It doesn’t surprise me that DeVos’ rule basically fucks over students. Her entire m.o. is “how can I make life worse for those most vulnerable?” If it’s not working to make it harder for people to get out of debt, it’s instituting rules that make it harder for victims of sexual assault on campus to get justice. Her brand is trash, like the Republican party as a whole. That makes it all the more surprising that the Senate overwhelmingly voted against her rule.