July 30, 2018 Media


(Downers Grove, IL)  July 29, 2018 – Last week, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos proposed rules making it harder for students who were defrauded by colleges to erase their debts. Sixth District Congressional candidate Sean Casten today released the following statement blasting Peter Roskam’s complicity:

“Betsy DeVos and Peter Roskam are two peas in a pod,” said Casten. “Instead of helping students and families working to afford a higher education, they’re heaping additional financial burdens on their backs.”

DeVos’ proposed rules add to the burden of millions of families and students struggling to pay the cost of a higher education. Meanwhile, Peter Roskam has voted repeatedly against efforts to ease the debt burden for college students and even voted to slash Pell Grants that help thousands of his own constituents.

“I’m not surprised that Secretary DeVos is protecting fraudulent colleges like Donald Trump University that ripped off their students,” Casten continued.  “But I’m puzzled why Peter Roskam would make life more difficult for thousands of families in his own district trying to afford college for their kids.”

“Peter Roskam was very generous to corporations and the wealthiest one percent, who were given 83 percent of the benefits in the federal tax bill he authored. Apparently, his generosity ends when it comes to working families struggling to send their children to college.”

Peter Roskam’s votes against college affordability include:

  • Voting against considering the Student Loan Relief Act, which would have prohibited the automatic doubling of student loan rates. [H Res 202, Vote #138, 5/8/13; CQ, 5/8/13; Democratic Leader’s Office, accessed 6/7/17]

  • Blocking a vote on allowing more than 25 million students to refinance their loans at lower interest rates.  [H Res 616, Vote #298, 6/11/14; CQ, 6/11/14; Democratic Leader’s Office, accessed 6/7/17]

  • Voting for a budget that slashed funding for Pell Grants, despite the fact that more than 24,000 students from the 6th District received more than $79 million in Pell Grants during the 2017-18 school year.

Casten has proposed a three-point plan to help students and families deal with the skyrocketing college debt burden by: allowing the refinancing of student loans at reduced interest rates; allowing such loans to be part of personal bankruptcy filings, and; linking Pell Grants to the rate of increase in college tuitions, so their value doesn’t diminish over time.