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U.S. Senate votes by unanimous consent to pass the amendment as part of the American Rescue Plan  

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), a 23-year veteran of the U.S. Navy and Naval Reserves and a longtime champion for student veterans, took to the Senate floor to offer a bipartisan amendment with Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, which lays out a timeline for the Department of Education to begin a “negotiated rulemaking” to close the 90/10 loophole. This amendment provides Congress more time to reach a bipartisan legislative agreement, rather than a purely regulatory solution, on additional protections for military and veterans students and taxpayers. The amendment was approved with unanimous consent.

“For the past decade, our nation’s Veterans Service Organizations have called on Congress to protect our military and veteran students, and close the 90/10 loophole. Today, at long last, Congress heeds that call,” said Senator Carper. “Millions of military and veteran students use their hard-earned education benefits at a variety of educational institutions …unfortunately, we’ve seen some poor outcomes for our veterans and for taxpayers from bad actors in the for-profit college sector…”

“While the American Rescue Plan closes the 90/10 loophole, I understand the need to make sure we get this right,” added Senator Carper. “By providing a six month delay before the start of a negotiated rulemaking process, our amendment gives Congress time to work together with our Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) on a bipartisan plan to strengthen these protections for veterans and taxpayers. I ask our colleagues join us in support of our bipartisan amendment and continue to work with us on a path forward this Congress.”

To view Sen. Carper’s full remarks, click HERE.

Background

Under current law, for-profit educational institutions must receive at least 10 percent of their revenue from non-federal sources. The 90/10 loophole is a gap in federal law that allows for-profit educational institutions to count Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DOD) education funds, like the Post-9/11 GI Bill and Tuition Assistance (TA), as non-federal funds.  This loophole has incentivized for-profit educational institutions to use aggressively recruitment tactics and deceptive marketing to enroll service members, veterans and other GI beneficiaries.

In 2019, Senator Carper led a bipartisan group of senators – Senators James Lankford (R-Okla.), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Chair of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, – in introducing the Protect Veterans’ Education and Taxpayer Spending (Protect VETS) Act of 2019, the first-ever bipartisan legislation to close the 90/10 loopholeThe legislation closes the 90/10 loophole by ensuring military and veteran students’ military educational benefits from the VA and DOD count as federal funds. This bill would require for-profit educational institutions to secure at least 10 percent of their revenues from non-taxpayer sources. The Protect VETS Act is still the only bipartisan Senate bill to close the 90/10 loophole.

Sen. Carper’s full remarks, as prepared for delivery, are below:

“Mr. President, for the past decade, our nation’s Veterans Service Organizations have called on Congress to protect our military and veteran students, and close the 90/10 loophole. Today, at long last, Congress heeds that call.

“Millions of military and veteran students use their hard-earned education benefits at a variety of educational institutions, including the types of trade and vocational schools that my own father, a WWII veteran, attended using the original G.I. Bill. Unfortunately, we’ve seen some poor outcomes for our veterans and for taxpayers from bad actors in the for-profit college sector, and many of these schools, like ITT Tech and Corinthian, no longer exist.

“While the American Rescue Plan closes the 90/10 loophole, I understand the need to make sure we get this right. I am thankful to my colleague Senator Moran and I’m proud to join this thoughtful approach to a contentious issue. By providing a six month delay before the start of a negotiated rulemaking process, our amendment gives Congress time to work together with our Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) on a bipartisan plan to strengthen these protections for veterans and taxpayers. I ask our colleagues join us in support of our bipartisan amendment and continue to work with us on a path forward this Congress.”

 

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