Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten on the Senate’s Rebuke of Betsy DeVos

For Release: 

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Contact:

Sarah Hager
202-393-5684
shager@aft.org

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement today, as the Republican Senate joined the Democratic House in a bipartisan dressing-down of the Trump administration by passing a Congressional Review Act resolution that repeals Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ rewrite of the “borrower defense” rule. DeVos’ rewrite, if left unchecked, would make it almost impossible for defrauded students to have their education loans forgiven, as permitted by law:

“Today, a bit of justice was served for the hundreds of thousands of people who have fallen victim to this administration’s practice of siding with predatory colleges over the students and veterans who attend those colleges. Defrauded borrowers saddled with college debt are struggling to afford homes, pay medical bills and move forward with their lives. We’re witnessing an entire generation scammed by fraudulent claims from schools that targeted veterans, people of color and other vulnerable communities, and we have an education secretary in Betsy Devos who’s made a career out of refusing to help them.

“In a time of great political divide, it’s clear that the secretary’s efforts to privilege profiteers at the expense of students can no longer be above reproach. America is onto Betsy DeVos. We thank Sen. Richard Durbin for his leadership, and all the Democrats and Republicans who voted to reject DeVos’ poisonous agenda. 

“Sadly, the Trump administration has threatened to veto this commonsense, bipartisan bill that is supported by education, veterans’ and civil rights groups alike. If he decides to veto, that would demonstrate once again he’s certainly not on the side of veterans and students who need our protection.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.