Rep. Garamendi: You Should Be Able to Discharge Your Student Loans

SOLEDAD: EFFORTS TO PROTECT COLLEGE STUDENTS FROM PREDATORY FOR PROFIT UNIVERSITIES HAVE BEEN DEALT A BLOW UNDER THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ACCORDING TO THE NEW YORK TIMES, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SECRETARY BETSY DEVOS GUTTED A TEAM AT THE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT RESPONSIBLE FOR INVESTIGATING FOR PROFIT COLLEGES

ONE TARGET WAS DEVRY UNIVERSITY WHICH HAS 55 CAMPUSES ACROSS THE COUNTRY IN 2016, DEVRY AGREED TO PAY 100-MILLION DOLLARS TO SETTLE A LAWSUIT THAT CLAIMED THE UNIVERSITY MISLED PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS ABOUT JOB PLACEMENT RATES NOW THE INVESTIGATION INTO DEVRY HAS BEEN HALTED IN AUGUST SECRETARY DEVOS TAPPED A FORMER DEAN AT DEVRY TO OVERSEE THE INVESTIGATION TEAM THAT TEAM WAS CREATED IN 2016 AFTER A SCANDAL AT CORINTHIAN COLLEGES WHICH RAN MORE THAN 100 FOR PROFIT SCHOOLS IN 25 STATES

AND COLLECTED MORE THAN 17 BILLION DOLLARS IN FEDERAL STUDENT AID CORINITHIAN COLLEGES SUDDENLY CLOSED IN APRIL OF 2015, LEAVING 16,000 STUDENTS WITHOUT DEGREES BUT THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN STUDENT LOANS UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA MORE THAN 32 THOUSAND STUDENTS HAD THEIR LOANS FORGIVEN IN DECEMBER SECRETARY DEVOS CHANGED THE STUDENT DEBT FORGIVENESS POLICY MAKING IT A CASE-BY CASE BASIS

CURRENTLY COLLEGE STUDENTS CARRY NEARLY 15 TRILLION DOLLARS IN LOANS, MOST OF WHICH IS HELD BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONGRESSMAN JOHN GARAMENDI IS A DEMOCRAT FROM CALIFORNIA’S THIRD DISTRICT IT’S SO NICE TO HAVE YOU WITH US THOSE ARE SUCH DEPRESSING NUMBERS ACROSS THE BOARD

LET’S START TALKING ABOUT THE INVESTIGATION UNIT THAT HAS BEEN DECIMATED NOW BY SECRETARY DEVOS WHAT’S YOUR TAKE ON ALL OF THAT MR GARAMENDI: I THINK IT’S SCANDALOUS BECAUSE IF YOU’RE NOT INVESTIGATING SCANDALS THEY’RE GOING TO CONTINUE AND THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS OF YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN AND SOME OLDER THAT ARE GOING BACK TO TECHNICAL TRAINING SCHOOLS ARE GOING TO GET RIPPED OFF SOLEDAD: SO THEN WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS? WHAT CAN CONGRESS DO? IS THE ANSWER NOTHING? MR

GARAMENDI: THIS CONGRESS THE ANSWER — IT WON’T DO ANYTHING THEY’RE IN LEAGUE WITH THIS ENTIRE PRIVATIZATION NOTION AND WE DON’T EXPECT TO SEE MUCH COMING OUT OF CONGRESS SOLEDAD: SO THEN WHAT — DOES IT NOW TURN TO STATES OUGHT TO STEP IN AND CREATE SOMETHING THAT CAN ACTUALLY ASSESS AND LOOK INTO FRAUD AND HELP STUDENTS WHO FEEL LIKE THEY THEY’VE BEEN VICTIMS OF FRAUD MR GARAMENDI: WELL THAT’S WHERE WE’RE GOING TO BE FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS UNTIL THIS ADMINISTRATION ENDS AND MAYBE UNTIL CONGRESS CHANGES

BUT THE REALITY IS THE STATES DO HAVE POWER THEY SHOULD HAVE THE POWER SOLEDAD: 15 TRILLION DOLLARS IS THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF STUDENT DEBT 70 PERCENT OF STUDENTS IN THIS COUNTRY OWE AN AVERAGE OF THIRTY EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLARS APIECE

THIS THEN GOES ON TO MEAN THAT YOU IF YOU HAVE THAT KIND OF DEBT YOU’RE NOT BUYING A HOUSE YOU’RE PROBABLY DELAYING MARRIAGE ET CETERA ET CETERA BETSY DEVOS HAS SAID, LISTEN, WE CAN’T JUST DISCHARGE THAT DEBT BECAUSE WE NEED TO PROTECT TAXPAYERS DOES SHE HAVE A POINT THERE? MR GARAMENDI: NO SHE DOES NOT WHAT THE — SOLEDAD: DON’T TAXPAYERS PICK UP THE BILL? MR

GARAMENDI: THE TAXPAYERS ARE ALREADY PICKING UP THE BILL IN TWO DIFFERENT WAYS ONE YOU JUST DESCRIBED IT IS THE DELAY OF ENTERING THE ECONOMY BECAUSE YOU’VE GOT TO PAY OFF THE STUDENT BILL YOU COULD PAY — YOU CAN GO BANKRUPT AND PAY OFF AND HAVE YOUR CREDIT CARDS OBLIGATIONS DISCHARGED

BUT UNDER THE CURRENT LAW YOU CANNOT GO BANKRUPT AND HAVE YOUR STUDENT LOANS DISCHARGED THEY OUGHT TO BE ABLE TO DO SO YES, YOU DO OWE MONEY TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS DECIDED THAT IT IS PART OF THIS RIP OFF PROGRAM SOLEDAD: SO TO WHAT DEGREE COULD FREE COLLEGE BE A SOLUTION TO THIS? MR GARAMENDI: WELL YOU TAKE A LOOK AT HISTORY

YOU GO BACK TO CALIFORNIA IN THE 50S AND 60S IT WAS ESSENTIALLY HIGHER EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY COLLEGES WERE FREE I WAS IN THE SCHOOLS AT THE TIME IT WAS LESS THAN 100 BUCKS A YEAR IT WAS THE NOTION THAT EDUCATION WAS A PUBLIC GOOD AND THAT THIS SOCIETY SHOULD PROVIDE THE FUNDING FOR THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM THAT’S LONG GONE NOW

CAN WE GO BACK TO THAT? OF COURSE WE COULD HOW’S THE COST I DON’T KNOW 50, 60, 70 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR IS IT WORTH DOING? WELL IT’S A GOOD ARGUMENT AND YOU NEED TO LOOK AT IT FOR THE ECONOMIC GROWTH OF THE NATION YOU NEED TO LOOK AT IT FOR A WELL-EDUCATED WORKFORCE IN THE FUTURE

AND IS IT WORTH 50 TO 70 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN SO THAT EVERYBODY CAN GO TO A COMMUNITY COLLEGE OR A FOUR YEAR COLLEGE WITHOUT TUITION? I’LL TELL YOU WHERE I AM: SPEND YOUR MONEY ON EDUCATING YOUR SOCIETY AND HERE’S WHERE THIS ADMINISTRATION IS FAILING THE PUBLIC, FAILING THIS NATION AND FAILING THE FUTURE ECONOMY BY NOT CLAMPING DOWN ON WHAT IS A KNOWN PROBLEM ALL ACROSS THIS NATION THAT IS THE PRIVATE, FOR-PROFIT UNIVERSITIES AND SCHOOLS, RIPPING OFF STUDENTS, NOT PROVIDING THE QUALITY EDUCATION AND LEAVING THOSE STUDENTS WITH A HUGE, IMPOSSIBLE DEBT SOLEDAD: CONGRESSMAN JOHN GARAMENDI

NICE TO HAVE YOU THANKS FOR