This Week In Washington
On Wednesday, the Senate failed to advance a scaled-down GOP COVID-19 relief bill. Recall that, last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that he would allow the Senate to vote on the measure which would have provided additional funding for unemployment insurance, schools, hospitals, and the Paycheck Protection Program. The bill failed to receive the 60 votes needed to pass.
The Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority (UHEAA), a loan servicer that manages 1.1 million federal student loan borrower accounts, notified the U.S. Department of Education (ED) that it will be terminating its loan servicing contract effective immediately. The move comes as the company attempts to maintain “long-term financial sustainability” by ending the contract. Student loan accounts managed by UHEAA are expected to be transferred to the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency by the end 2020.
On Tuesday, a federal judge rejected a settlement agreement between ED and student loan borrowers which would have required ED to process delayed Borrower Defense applications. The updated borrower defense rule which went into effect on July 1, establishing new standards and processes under which borrowers can have federal student loans discharged in cases of fraud or deception by an institution, came under fire for making it more difficult for defrauded borrowers to receive relief. The rejection was brought on by accusations that ED was issuing mass denials of loan forgiveness applications which was inconsistent with the preliminary settlement agreement.
News You Can Use
The Brookings Institution examines how credit standards in the PLUS loan program affect access and equity in higher education.
A survey conducted by The Pew Charitable Trusts found that most Americans believe that student borrowers often struggle to repay their debt and that student debt is a threat to our economy. Eighty-one percent of respondents said that the government should make it easier for borrowers to repay student loans.
The following bill(s) have been recently introduced for consideration by the 116th Congress (2019-2020):
S. 4839 – Veterans Legal Support Act [Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)] would authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to provide funding to university law school programs that offer pro bono legal services to veterans.