The steady stream of news emerging from the nation’s capital can be overwhelming. NACUBO highlights key actions and provides the status of top higher education business concerns.
On the Hill
Senate Taskforce Recommends Making 179D Permanent
In May, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) formed a series of bipartisan task forces to examine various expired and soon-to-expire tax deductions. Among the deductions considered was the expired Section 179D, a tax tool that incentivizes sustainable construction and retrofits for public institutions and commercial buildings. In line with NACUBO’s recommendations that 179D be extended and expanded to include nonprofit institutions, the taskforce report noted that “further improvements to the credit and/or permanence would further accelerate the positive impacts of this program.”
New Student Loan Ombudsman Appointed at CFPB
Robert Cameron, a former attorney for the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Authority, which operates FedLoan Servicing, has been appointed by the Trump administration to serve as the new private education loan ombudsman at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Cameron’s predecessor, Seth Frotman, resigned in protest last year over concerns that the Trump administration was undermining CFPB efforts to oversee for-profit colleges and student loan companies.
Administration to Simplify Loan Forgiveness Process for Disabled Vets
On August 21, President Donald Trump announced that the Department of Education will automatically discharge federal student loans for veterans who are permanently disabled. Current law allows any federal borrower who is deemed “totally and permanently” disabled to have their loans cancelled by ED; this executive action expedites the process for veterans, with the choice to opt out.
ED Now Accepting Requests for Loan Deferment for Cancer Treatment
Qualified borrowers may receive a deferment on their qualifying loans while they are receiving cancer treatment and for the six months following the conclusion of their treatment. The deferment has no fixed time limit and borrowers, lenders, and their authorized servicers may begin submitting requests immediately.
Get Familiar with New Financial Reporting Regulations
The Department of Education has implemented a number of new financial responsibility reporting regulations stemming from rulemaking efforts on borrower defense to repayment guidelines. Familiarize yourself with NACUBO’s resources on the new rules. Then, register for our webcast on the topic to learn why the rules are in place, what’s required of colleges, and why there is so much uncertainty about which institutions must comply and why.
What Did I Miss in Washington? July 30-August 12, 2019