Foxx Subpoenas Cardona for Borrower Defense Documents
Says Department is Ignoring Congressional Oversight
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 31, 2023
WASHINGTON – Today, Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) issued a subpoena to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona for documents related to borrower defense to repayment. The Committee has communicated multiple requests to the Department for data on borrower defense as part of its oversight responsibilities. In each instance, the Department has stonewalled the Committee’s requests.
In the cover letter accompanying the subpoena, Foxx writes: “The U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce (Committee) is engaged in ongoing oversight of borrower defense activities of the U.S. Department of Education (Department). … You committed during the May 16, 2023, full committee hearing that you would provide responses, in good faith, to oversight questions and inquiries. … Contrary to the representations made at the hearing, the Committee has not received complete responses to every borrower defense request, and with respect to some of the requests, the Committee has received no response.”
In the letter, Foxx continues: “As part of the Department’s stonewalling, it suggested that documents we requested could not or would not be provided until after the Government Accountability Office completed its own inquiry on borrower defense to repayment. Such contentions defy Congress’ constitutional prerogatives and responsibilities.”
Foxx concludes: “As such, the Committee has determined that compulsory measures are necessary.”
Chairwoman Foxx made the following statement: “This is the first time the Committee has subpoenaed the Education Department, and it is a measure that I do not take lightly. Secretary Cardona sat before this Committee in May and gave us his word that he would assist us in our oversight efforts. At every turn, the Department has thrown up roadblocks to prevent us from getting answers on borrower defense to repayment. Clearly, Secretary Cardona’s word doesn’t mean much. His lack of candor not only blocks the Committee from doing its job, but it also leaves students, borrowers, and institutions in the dark. We intend to get the answers for the American people.”
Read the cover letter to the subpoena here.