Va. lawmakers: Trump administration turned student loan program into a ‘disaster’

Va. lawmakers: Trump administration turned student loan program into a ‘disaster’
The Education Department is blaming Congress for a loan forgiveness program that rejects the vast majority of applicants. (Source: Gray Image Bank)

Virginia Democrats are leading efforts in Congress to stop the mass denial of student debt relief to millions of teachers, nurses, first responders and other public servants.

They’re pressing the Trump administration to fix the problem, while the Education Department is blaming Congress for a loan forgiveness program that rejects the vast majority of applicants.

The department’s mismanagement of a temporary expansion of the loan program has created “a disaster” for applicants, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine and other Democrats wrote in a recent letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

The Trump administration has “left public servants in the lurch again,” Kaine said in a statement. “It’s outrageous that they still can’t get this right.”

The outrage comes in response to a September report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) — Congress’ legislative arm — that found that 99 percent of program applicants have been rejected, including 570 of 585 from Virginia.

And of $700 million set aside for the program, only $27 million has been spent, the report found.