Cardona is Hiding the True Cost of Student Loans
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 12, 2022
Today, Education and Labor Committee Republican Leader Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Republican Leader Richard Burr (R-NC), Oversight and Reform Committee Republican Leader James Comer (R-KY), and Employment and Workplace Safety Subcommittee Republican Leader Mike Braun (R-IN) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona expressing concern over the Department's lack of transparency and cooperation regarding the true cost of the federal student loan portfolio.
In releasing the letter, Foxx, Burr, Comer, Braun said: “We have received conflicting statements from Department officials regarding the valuation reports on the federal student loan portfolio. Whether this is deliberate obfuscation or incompetence, it is prohibiting us from fulfilling our oversight duty. We are encouraging Secretary Cardona to get his house in order and provide us with the requested documents.”
In the letter, the Members write: “The Department…did not provide all reports related to the student loan portfolio valuation, contradicting Under Secretary James Kvaal’s pledge to do so during his November testimony. It is inexcusable to treat the taxpayer investment in this program with such little respect. Further, having hard working career employees brief congressional staff without the facts demonstrates both a lack of respect for their work and a lack of leadership at the highest levels.”
The members continue: “With respect to the briefing, although your agency’s apparent goal was to brief its way through the scheduled hour without providing responsive answers to Congress’ requests, we do appreciate the Department finally taking the time to talk with us. However, the months long delay in scheduling the briefing is unacceptable. Both during your confirmation hearing and before the Ed and Labor Committee, you promised to cooperate with all oversight requests. The Department’s actions so far demonstrate a failure to meet that promise. We are hopeful you will instruct your staff to be more forthcoming and timely in the Department’s responses going forward.”
The members write: “Secretary Cardona, we are reiterating our requests for all documents, follow-up reports, validating reports, reviews of the reports, and all other work conducted by FI Consulting, Deloitte, and FSA on the valuation of the federal loan portfolio.”
Read the full letter here.