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I am returning herewith without my approval H.J. Res. 76, a joint resolution that would undermine the efforts of my Administration to protect students and taxpayers by nullifying the Borrower Defense Institutional Accountability Regulation, which the Department of Education published in the Federal Register on September 23, 2019, following extensive public hearings and public comment.

The Borrower Defense Institutional Accountability rule sets forth clear standards for borrower defense to repayment, providing needed transparency to both students and schools.  Under this rule, a fair process will deliver deserved relief to students harmed by their educational institutions.  Whereas the last administration promoted a regulatory environment that produced precipitous school closures and stranded students, this new rule puts the needs of students first, extends the window during which they can qualify for loan discharge, and encourages schools to provide students with opportunities to complete their educations and continue their pursuit of economic success.  H.J. Res. 76 would return the country to a regulatory regime in which the Federal Government and State attorneys general, rather than students, determine the kinds of education students need and which schools they should be allowed to attend.

American higher education must transform to better meet the needs of today’s students.  My Administration stands ready to work with the Congress to foster the development of a more affordable, more flexible, and more innovative system of higher education that is better able to meet the educational needs of our students, and in which schools take on more responsibility for the success of the students who enroll in their programs.

H.J. Res. 76 is a misguided resolution that would increase costs for American students and undermine their ability to make choices about their education in order to best meet their needs.  For these reasons, it is my duty to return H.J. Res. 76 to the House of Representatives without my approval.


May 29, 2020.