By Owen Daugherty, NASFAA Staff Reporter
With the pause on federally-held student loan payments stretching beyond two years with the latest — and thought to be last — extension, top Republicans on the House and Senate education committees are again asking the Department of Education (ED) to disclose documents detailing the budget projections for the federal student loan portfolio.
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) and Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the ranking members of the House and Senate education committees, along with Rep. James Comer (R-Kent.) and Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), sent a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona requesting documents on how the department calculates projected losses from students defaulting on their loans.
Among the documents requested in the letter is a report allegedly showing decades of miscalculations by the federal government in student loans program profits.
Foxx and other congressional Republicans have argued the department is burying the report — commissioned under former Education Secretary Betsey DeVos — that reportedly found over the course of three decades, Congress, various administrations, and federal watchdogs had “systematically made the student loan program look profitable when in fact defaults were becoming more likely.”
The report was first covered by The Wall Street Journal in April and has become an area of focus for Republicans since. In the recent letter, Foxx, Burr, and their colleagues are calling on Cardona to announce a schedule for the release of the requested documents by no later than January 19, a week from when they sent the letter.
Foxx and Burr are also requesting the department to grant permission to contractors to speak with the lawmakers about the loan portfolio.
“If you stand by the reports as you testified, then all the documents should be provided to us and the contractors should be free to discuss them,” the letter states.
Publication Date: 1/14/2022
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