News Release: AFR Applauds Senate Vote to stop rollback of Borrower Defense protections


March 11, 2020

CONTACT:  Alexis Goldstein,

AFR Applauds Senate Vote to block harmful rollback of Borrower Defense protections 

Today the Senate passed S.J.Res 56, by a vote of 53-42, to overturn the punitive changes made to the Borrower Defense rule, a rule originally meant to ensure defrauded students can obtain federal student debt cancellation. Every Senate Democrat voted to roll back the 2019 changes that makes it even more difficult for students at schools that broke the law to get the debt relief they deserve. Joining the Democrats were ten Republicans: Senators Shelley Moore Capito, Susan Collins, Joni Ernst, Cory Gardner, Josh Hawley, Martha McSally, Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman, Dan Sullivan, and Todd Young all voted to reject DeVos’ proposal that gave the green light to bad actors.

“Lawmakers today chose students over the executives of for-profit colleges, and rejected Betsy DeVos’ cynical attempt to block defrauded borrowers from the debt cancellation they are entitled to.” said Alexis Goldstein, AFR’s Senior Policy Analyst. “This rollback of the 2019 Borrower Defense changes means that students’ rights will not be sacrificed in order to line the pockets of executives at for-profit colleges, an industry that has shown time and again that it will use taxpayer dollars to deceive and defraud its own students.”

The Senate’s rejection of the weakening of Borrower Defense now moves to the President’s desk. Given this rule continues to face challenges in court, including a February challenge to the rule by the New York Legal Assistance Group, the President should sign S.J.Res. 56, and end this failed attempt to deny defrauded students the cancellation they’re owed.