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US House overturns DeVos’ student loan forgiveness rule, ‘corrects the overreach’

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 28: U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos testifies during a Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee discussing proposed budget estimates and justification for FY2020 for the Education Department on March 28, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Democratic lawmakers want to help students who have been defrauded by for-profit universities but that means overturning a rule recently issued by the secretary of education.

The House of Representatives on Thursday approved a Congressional Review Act resolution to overturn Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ 2019 “borrower defense” rule.

Democrats say the resolution will help students like Las Vegas resident Kendrick Harrison who enrolled in a for-profit college in 2016.

But the college was unexpectedly shut down before he could graduate.

“I’m a father, a loving husband and a veteran. Sadly to say, I’m also a victim,” Harrison said. “Fighting tooth-and-nails for a degree that got pulled from under me three months before graduation.”

Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin thinks people in this situation should get their student debt forgiven.

“They lure these kids in, make promises they can’t keep, take them for a ride and their families as well when it comes to student debt. Take the profits out of the industry, go bankrupt and leave the students with nowhere to turn.”

DeVos set forth changes to the so-called borrower defense rules in September that critics say would make student loan forgiveness harder in situations like Harrison’s. Those changes are set to take effect in July of 2020. So Durbin teamed up with Rep. Susie Lee (D-NV) to try and get that rule overturned.

“We care more about defending defrauded students than enriching predatory schools,” said Lee.

The Department of Education said in a statement the new rule still “holds institutions accountable” but also “corrects the overreach of the prior administration.”

Their resolution will likely get a vote in the U.S. Senate but may not have enough support to pass in the Republican-controlled chamber.

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