Warren delays Biden Education Department student loan reform
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) Is not joking about student loan reform. Senator delayed confirmation of President Biden’s candidate to lead higher education policy at the Department of Education as a way to negotiate student loan review promises, Bloomberg and the Washington post reported.
The federal government manages $ 1.6 trillion in student loans. James Kvaal, Biden’s candidate for Under Secretary of Education and the third official in the Department of Education, would oversee the management of the loan program.
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A source told Politico that Warren’s staff are in talks with the White House over a “range of needed reforms in higher education, including the administration of the student loan program.” Warren criticized the private companies that administer federal student loans, Navient and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency.
When Navient CEO John Remondi testified before Congress, Warren called on the federal government to fire the company for what she called long-standing abusive and deceptive practices towards borrowers. During her questioning of Remondi, the senator pointed out that a federal audit found that Navient was training call center employees to push borrowers towards repayment options that made it more difficult to repay their loans. She also said the company also overcharged the government by $ 22 million for its handling of federal student loans, and Navient refused to repay that money.
“The federal government should absolutely fire Navient,” Warren told Remondi at the hearing. “And because this happened under your direction, Navient should fire you.”
Warren and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also urged Biden to cancel up to $ 50,000 in loans for borrowers with student debt, although that is not the reason for the appointment. de Kvaal was delayed.
During his confirmation hearing, Kvaal promised that the review of student debts would be his first priority. “We see a lot of students whose loans are getting bigger than they are reduced as they struggle to pay off those loans, especially among black students,” he said. Kvaal also endorsed ways to make colleges more affordable, including “investing in the elimination of tuition fees at public colleges and universities. [and] doubling the Pell grants.
But Kvaal did not make a commitment to forgo the student loan. “We must continue to explore ways to relieve students under the burden of debt while helping current and future students with affordable options,” he said.
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