This press release was originally posted through Allied Progress. Allied Progress is now Accountable.US.
Americans Ready for Bipartisan Congressional Oversight Into DeVos’ Mistreatment of Student Borrowers Following Impeachment Trial
Washington D.C. – As a polarizing impeachment process comes to a close, Americans across the political spectrum want Congress to make oversight of the Trump administration a priority, a new national poll found. At the top of the list of administration officials the public wants investigated is Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, whose approval rating stands at a mere 28 percent as cases of her Department’s mistreatment of student borrowers continue to mount. Specifically, Americans want Congress to get to the bottom of why DeVos’ Department has refused to process hundreds of thousands of student loan forgiveness claims from potentially defrauded borrowers (56 percent support), and why the Department for so long refused to cancel student debt of tens of thousands of permanently disabled veterans as mandated by federal law (58 percent support). View survey result summary HERE.
The survey of 1,008 registered voters nationwide was conducted online December 11-15, 2019 by Global Strategy Group on behalf of consumer watchdog group Allied Progress.
Corruption is seen as a serious problem in the Trump administration, the survey found, and the public believes senior officials in the administration, especially Secretary DeVos, have something to hide. That’s why, by wide margins, Americans believe the Trump administration should appear before congressional committees and that they comply with congressional subpoenas.
“If Secretary DeVos was hoping Americans are too distracted by President Trump’s scandals to notice or care are about her efforts to sell out student borrowers, she’s in for a shock,” said Derek Martin, director of Allied Progress.
Independent minded Americans particularly agree that one of Congress’ most important responsibilities is to conduct oversight of this administration amid a myriad of allegations of corruption and ethics violations. Americans want Congress to work together across party lines to determine whether Trump administration officials have misused taxpayer dollars, misled Congress, or abused their positions to enrich themselves or their family.
Martin continued: “We found the public is especially skeptical of Secretary DeVos, for good reason. What motivated DeVos’ decisions to disregard the law in order to deny debt relief to defrauded borrowers and disabled veterans? Americans want to know, and it’s Congress’ duty to find out.”
KEY FINDINGS FROM THE SURVEY:
- A vast majority of those surveyed, 86 percent, believe many members of Congress are playing politics instead of working together to do their job of conducting bipartisan oversight of the Trump administration. 58 percent strongly agreed with that statement.
- 52 percent of respondents think Congress should conduct more oversight of senior administration officials, while only 19 percent want less.
- A plurality of respondents do not think Congress is paying enough attention to corruption and ethics violations in the Trump administration (38%) or spending enough time on oversight of the administration (37%, including 41% of independents).
- 83 percent of those surveyed believe officials within the Trump administration should appear before congressional committees, and 70 percent think they should comply with congressional subpoenas. 65 percent of Americans recognize corruption as a serious problem in the Trump administration, and 54 percent believe members of the administration are stonewalling Congress because they have something to hide.
- Only 28 percent of respondents approve of the job Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is doing, while 39 percent disapprove of her performance.
- 56 percent of those surveyed would support a Congressional investigation into the Education Department awarding a federal student loan debt collection contract to a company once tied financially to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
- 56 percent of those surveyed would support a Congressional investigation into why Secretary DeVos neglected to process over 200,000 student loan forgiveness applications from potentially defrauded borrowers.
- 58 percent of those surveyed would support a Congressional investigation into why Secretary DeVos halted the process of forgiving more than a billion dollars in student loans owed by veterans with severe disabilities, and only resumed it after media reports exposed the problem.
- Those surveyed who identified themselves as independent or soft partisans show overwhelming support for investigating all of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ student loan scandals, including awarding a student loan collection contract to a company she was once tied to financially (60% support investigation), neglecting to process student loan forgiveness applications from potentially defrauded borrowers (59% support investigation), and halting student loan forgiveness for disabled veterans (58% support investigation).