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Lankford Votes to Maintain Protections for Student Loan Borrowers

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today voted against a resolution that, if passed, would have reversed important protections issued by the Trump Administration’s Department of Education for students with federal student loans to obtain relief if they suffered financial harm because their college misled or defrauded them, a process known as “borrower defense to repayment.”

“Students who take out loans for higher education should be able to do so with the assurance that the school they choose will keep up its end of the bargain,” said Lankford. “In the event a school misleads students or in some other way defrauds students into attending, students should and do have the opportunity to obtain financial relief through individualized reviews of their claims. The previous Administration put in place its version of the borrower defense to repayment rule that will cost taxpayers billions by giving blanket loan forgiveness, even if a student was not adversely affected. The Trump Administration made important updates to those rules to help students, examine harm on an individualized basis, and provide additional oversight. Today, I voted to defend those changes and protect students and taxpayers.” 

On September 23, 2019, US Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos published final regulations outlining the criteria and process for how a borrower can apply for loan forgiveness. The Trump Administration changes would ultimately save taxpayers $11 billion. Those regulations replaced Obama-era rules aimed at the Administration’s interpretations of how to protect defrauded borrowers, which would cost taxpayers $42 billion. Senate Democrats moved today under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) process to reverse the Trump Administration changes and revert back to the Obama-era regulations.