Durbin Statement On Trump's Veto Of Bipartisan Congressional Resolution Overturning DeVos Borrower Defense Rule

SPRINGFIELD – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after President Donald Trump vetoed a bipartisan Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval (H.J.Res. 76), to overturn the U.S. Department of Education’s 2019 Borrower Defense rule:

“President Trump’s veto of my bipartisan bill to help our veterans was a victory for Education Secretary DeVos and the fraud merchants at the for-profit colleges. My question to the President: in four days did you forget those flag waving Memorial Day speeches as you vetoed a bill the veterans were begging for?”

The DeVos borrower defense rule would make it impossible for defrauded borrowers—including veterans—to get the relief they are owed and would lessen accountability for the schools that defraud borrowers. Durbin spoke on the Senate floor this month about the importance of passing the resolution.

More than 30 veterans organization called on President Trump to sign the measure.  American Legion National Commander James “Bill” Oxford said, “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. We urge President Trump to sign House Joint Resolution 76, which allows for a ‘borrower defense’ to be used by students to obtain discharges to loans that were issued because of these false promises.”  New polling from Third Way shows voters support defrauded student borrowers’ rights to relief and want schools who mislead students held accountable.   

In September, Durbin introduced the Senate version of the CRA (S.J.Res. 56). The House of Representatives voted on a bipartisan basis in January to pass its version of the measure, H.J.Res. 76, introduced by U.S. Representative Susie Lee (D-NV-03). The Senate passed the resolution in March on a 53-42 bipartisan vote.

The resolutions were supported by a number of organizations, including veterans’ organizations such as The American Legion.

The DeVos borrower defense rule makes it almost impossible for borrowers who are defrauded by their school or harmed by their school’s closure to receive the relief to which they are entitled, and which Congress intended, under the Higher Education Act (HEA). According to an analysis by The Institute for College Access and Success, the DeVos borrower defense rule will cancel just three percent of all loans associated with misconduct.

CRA resolutions of disapproval allow Congress to overturn regulatory actions of federal agencies with a simple majority vote in both chambers.