Elizabeth Warren speaking at an unspecified hearing.
According to a press release published at the end of May, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) announced the launch of DeVos Watch, an organized effort to scrutinize Devos’ management of the $1 trillion plus federal student loan program and oversight of student loan servicers.
Expanding on her actions, Warren wrote an op-ed that was published by CNN, explaining how she started the effort because it was Congress’ duty to make sure DeVos and the Department of Education maintain a fiscally responsible, corruption-free student aid program that puts the needs of students first.
She has certainly remained active in that arena.
At the end of March, Warren raised concerns over potential ethics violations at the Department of Education when she published an open letter to the Secretary of Education. The letter discussed the hiring of Robert Eitel, a senior lawyer for a company that owns for-profit colleges that have been under state and federal investigation.
In the same letter, Sen. Warren also protested the hiring of Taylor Hansen, a top lobbyist for for-profit colleges. Hansen eventually resigned after Warren wrote to DeVos about the lobbyist’s “glaring conflicts of interests.”
Hansen wasn’t the only official at the Department of Education to resign this year either. More controversy arose when the top financial aid officer, James Runcie, left his post after voicing concerns over the management within the department. The development only bolsters the reasoning behind Warren’s initiative.
Her actions aren’t limited to this present year either. Warren put pressure on the Department of Education to get tough on Navient Solutions in 2016. Eventually, a lawsuit was brought against Navient for “systematically and illegally” failing its student borrowers following investigations from both the Justice Department and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Most of these developments shouldn’t be surprising. After all, it’s no secret that Elizabeth Warren is not a fan of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
The Massachusetts Senator grilled DeVos during her confirmation hearings, voicing strong concerns over Devos’s lack of experience with education policies and the student loan system in general. She also called into question her support for charter schools and tuition vouchers among other controversies. In hindsight, all of these actions seem to clearly point towards Sen. Warren’s latest action, the implementation of DeVos Watch.
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