Ombudsman Leaves Bureau He Says Protected Financial Companies, not Students

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Student Loan Ombudsman Resigns Over Policy Differences. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Student Loan Ombudsman Seth Frotman resigned, citing political differences at the agency under Acting Director Mick Mulvaney. In a resignation letter addressed to Mulvaney, Frotman said his resignation was effective Sept. 1, adding “Unfortunately, under your leadership, the Bureau has abandoned the very consumers it is tasked by Congress with protecting. Instead, you have used the Bureau to serve the wishes of the most powerful financial companies in America.” The non-partisan office is one of the few parts of the U.S. government that was tasked with handling student loan issues, Bloomberg reports. Frotman also claims that the bureau squashed publication of data showing banks debit card fees, the Washington Post reports.

Senate and House Democrats Send DeVos Letters on Buying Guns for Schools. Forty-four Democratic senators wrote a letter to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos asking the Education Department to abandon possible plans to allow taxpayer money to be used by schoolteachers to buy guns or firearms training. The letter was led by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), the ranking member on both the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and the appropriations subcommittee overseeing the department, CQ reports. Senate Democrats, citing reports, say that DeVos is considering requests from local governments to use public money from Title IV to buy guns. “The Secretary has no ‘forthcoming action’ on this issue,” Education Department spokeswoman Liz Hill said. Most House Democrats, 173 out of 193, also sent a letter urging DeVos to “disallow the arming of teachers.”  That letter was led by Rep. Robert Scott (D-VA), who is the ranking member on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, the Washington Post reports. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT proposed legislation as an amendment to the fiscal 2019 Labor, HHS and Education spending bill that would have blocked the effort, but the amendment didn’t get to a vote.

We publish the DC Shuttle each week featuring higher ed news from Washington collected by the New England Council, of which NEBHE is a member. This edition is drawn from the Higher Education Update in the Council’s Weekly Washington Report of Sept. 4, 2018. For more information, please visit: www.newenglandcouncil.com.

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