Scott Threatens to Subpoena Secretary DeVos to Testify About Department’s Refusal to Provide Debt Relief to Defrauded Students

November 1, 2019
Press Release
Chairman Scott: “If you choose to decline my invitation, the Committee will consider exercising its legal authority to compel your attendance.”

As originally released by the Committee on Education & Labor

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) sent a letter to Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos threatening to subpoena her testimony after she declined a formal invitation to appear at a Committee hearing scheduled for Tuesday, November 19. The hearing will examine the Department’s refusal to provide debt relief to nearly 60,000 students who were defrauded by Corinthian Colleges, a defunct for-profit college chain.

“I was disappointed that you rejected my invitation to voluntarily participate in lawful Congressional oversight, relying only on the fact that students are suing you over the very policies you are refusing to provide Congress information on.  The Department’s refusal to expediently adjudicate Borrower Defense claims naturally invites litigation from defrauded students desperate for relief,” said Chairman Scott.

A lawsuit by defrauded students seeking relief from your policies does not prohibit or restrict you from testifying to Congress and does not outweigh the Committee’s obligation to conduct oversight and consider legislative reforms on these important issues…If you choose to decline my invitation, the Committee will consider exercising its legal authority to compel your attendance.”

Starting in November 2018, Committee staff and Members have requested information from the Department about the implementation of the Borrowers Defense program. Committee staff reiterated these requests by email or phone more than 25 times and repeatedly requested briefings on the Department’s production of materials.  The Department has refused to respond, consistently stating that these requests were “in process.”

The deadline for the Department’s response is November 6, 2019.  

To read the full text of the letter, click here.

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