Senator Murray: “As students across the country are struggling to make ends meet in the face of unprecedented financial challenges, Secretary DeVos’ efforts to deny some much-needed aid is cruel.”
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement on Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ harmful and unauthorized new regulation restricting more than 7.5 million students—including DACA recipients and undocumented students—from much-needed emergency financial aid provided under the CARES Act. The regulation follows repeatedly changing positions from the Department on eligibility for the emergency financial aid and unauthorized guidance that was released on April 21.
“As students across the country are struggling to make ends meet in the face of unprecedented financial challenges, Secretary DeVos’ efforts to deny some much-needed aid is cruel. These extreme eligibility requirements will not only harm students, but they are also contrary to Congressional intent. I’ll keep fighting to ensure that students get the relief they need—and that Secretary DeVos implements the law as Congress intended.”
In May, Senator Murray urged Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to reverse her unauthorized guidance. She stressed that the extreme eligibility restrictions “were added by the Department without any directive from Congress and without any statutory basis.” Senator Murray has also requested and released a legal memo from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) that shows the Department’s decision would likely not hold up to legal scrutiny because “neither the CARES Act nor Title IV explicitly prohibits non-Title IV-eligible students from receiving emergency financial aid grants.”