House Republicans Open Investigation Into Biden Administration’s Borrower Defense Settlement
Hugh T. Ferguson
May 25, 2023
A pair of House Republican leaders are accusing the Biden administration of seeking to “hijack” federal courts in order to advance a borrower defense settlement, and have launched an investigation into the Department of Education’s (ED) processes for carrying out the relief.
Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and James Comer (R-Ky.) spearheaded a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, which requested documents from ED concerning borrower defense litigation that seeks to discharge $6 billion in student loans for over 200,000 borrowers.
The legal settlement, dubbed Sweet v. Cardona, has gone through a litany of legal challenges and was originally filed in 2019 (as Sweet v. DeVos) by seven named plaintiffs on behalf of themselves and federal student loan borrowers bringing borrower defense claims against ED.
At the end of 2022 the department announced a settlement in the Sweet v. Cardona case, stipulating that ED would discharge more than $6 billion owed by approximately 200,000 borrowers who collectively attended 151 institutions and said they were defrauded by their schools.