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Foxx, Owens Question Cardona about Fraud within Biden’s Student Loan Scam

WASHINGTON – Today, Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee Chairman Burgess Owens (R-UT) sent a letter to Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona highlighting the potential for fraud within President Biden’s student loan scam. 
In the letter, Reps. Foxx and Owens write: “[We] write to express our deep concern about the potential for fraud within the Biden student loan debt transfer plan. Specifically, the U.S. Department of Education’s (Department) borrower application for student loan debt relief allows, or otherwise affirmatively endorses, self-certification of income. Allowing borrowers to self-attest that they fall under the income threshold will undoubtedly lead to fraud and abuse.”
Reps. Foxx and Owens continue: “As the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) Comptroller General Gene Dodaro observed earlier this year in his testimony about fraud in pandemic spending, ‘[federal] agencies should have been much better prepared in order to prevent fraud.’ With this as an observation and warning, it is obvious the student loan debt transfer plan and its income self-certification are fundamentally ill-advised given their potential for fraud.”
The members conclude by questioning the Department about its efforts to prevent fraud:
  • Why, specifically, does the Department continue with self-certification in the Biden student debt transfer plan given the Comptroller General’s statement about the potential for fraud and given the findings of the 2019 GAO report?
  • [M]r. Cordray testified the Department would use sampling to root out potential fraud with self-certification of income. Sampling is never sufficient to root out fraud. The Department should confirm that every applicant qualifies. Mr. Cordray’s statement raised more questions than provided answers. What are the specific protocols for sampling? If sampling uncovers fraud, does the Department intend to seek a return of the funds? If sampling uncovers fraud, what are the Department’s plans to implement more rigorous income certification protocols to prevent additional fraud?
  • In instances where an applicant uses a “parent income waiver,” what safeguards are in place to verify they truly are independent from their parents and are not attempting to circumvent parental income qualifications? 
To read the full letter, click here.
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