Democratic members of the House of Representatives are eager to use their new majority in the coming year to stymie President Trump and his agenda. One particular cabinet member they are singling out for harassment is Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who has committed the seemingly unforgivable crime of actively dismantling Obama-era education policy. A number of powerful House members have her in their sights and are looking forward to grilling her as soon as they gain control over key committees.
Three of Secretary DeVos’ policies that have received the most opposition from Democratic politicians and activists are the student loan forgiveness process, the rollback of regulations targeting for-profit colleges, and the Education Department’s rewrite of campus sexual assault policies.
The fact that Secretary DeVos stalled the student loan forgiveness process has resulted in legal action, and a federal judge ruled in September 2018 that the Education Department needed to process student loan forgiveness applications; even so, another organization, the Housing and Economic Rights Advocates is claiming that the Education Department is failing to follow the court’s mandate. The organization also claims that students are entitled to relief without noting the fact that forgiving these student loans essentially amounts to a taxpayer-funded gift to those who may or may not have done careful research when choosing a college in the first place.
The rewrite of the campus sexual assault policies laid down by the Obama Administration has also generated a great deal of controversy, especially in light of the #MeToo era. Many are claiming that Secretary DeVos is making it hard for victims to seek justice, when in reality the secretary is simply setting down standards in line with current law by stating the defendants should be considered innocent until proven guilty and not the other way around.
Democrats are claiming that her policies limit the scope of campus investigations, and narrow the definition of harassment without noting the fact that victims of harassment and/or assault can always get help from law enforcement officials. Law enforcement, rather than campus faculty members, should be the ones tasked with bringing perpetrators to justice. If someone is indeed guilty, he or she should be brought before a court of law as was the case for decades before former President Obama made it a point to have college and university campuses handle such matters internally.
Secretary DeVos faces challenges on a number of fronts as up to five different committees may call on her to testify about her policies. Democrat Rep. Mark Takano, who will most likely lead the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, has already stated that he wants to investigate the Education Departments’ decision to relax regulations on for-profit colleges, claiming that the relaxing of these regulations affects veterans who have enrolled in these colleges in years past.
Rep. Bobby Scott, who will become chairman of the House Education Committee, has criticized just about every single policy Secretary DeVos has put in place over the last couple of years and will likely do everything in his power to hinder the implementation of Education Department’s current and future decisions. Rep. Maxine Waters, who will most likely chair the Financial Services Committee, has accused Secretary DeVos of attacking civil rights protections for students of color, disabled students, transgender students and students who have been sexually assaulted. Rep. Waters, who is also eager to shut down for-profit colleges and universities, is eager to use her authority to question Secretary DeVos about her rollback of regulations on for-profit colleges.
A number of Democratic lawmakers have been proclaiming that they will use their new majority in the House of Representatives to benefit the American people by focusing on issues such as infrastructure and the economy. Even so, the fact remains that many Democratic House members are eager to use their new-found authority to impede President Trump’s agenda and the decisions of his cabinet members. The fact that new cabinet members can reverse the decisions of a former president and his cabinet members seems to be anathema to those who are unhappy with the new state of affairs, and Democrat politicians are clearly willing to do whatever it takes to hold onto the Obama-era policies that they hold dear.
~ Patriotic Freedom Fighter