The Senate on Wednesday issued a strong bipartisan rebuff to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, passing legislation to block her policy that makes it tougher for defrauded student loan borrowers to have their debts forgiven.
Ten Republican senators broke with the Trump administration and joined with Democrats on a 53-42 vote to overturn DeVos’ rewrite of the Obama-era “borrower defense” rule, which governs debt relief for students whose colleges engaged in misconduct.
The measure, which cleared the House last month, now heads to President Donald Trump’s desk. The White House has threatened a veto of the legislation, which did not garner a veto-proof majority in either chamber.
But Trump told Republican senators during a closed-door meeting on Tuesday that he was “neutral” on the resolution, according to several individuals familiar with the remarks. During the meeting, Sen. Lamar Alexander, (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Senate HELP Committee, told Trump that he opposed the resolution and was defending the Trump administration’s own policy.
“I have sort of a neutral position,” Trump responded, according to people in the room. “I’m in between.”