On Saturday, March 6, 2021, at approximately 7 a.m., the Senate approved, by voice vote, a bipartisan amendment to delay the implementation of — and thereby secure bipartisan agreement to support — the 90/10 loophole closure in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the COVID relief budget reconciliation package).
You can watch the video at C-Span (Senate –> Floor Action –> video clip for March 5, 2021, entitled, “6:56:02 a.m. Jerry Moran: I call up my amendment 1342”). Video clip of Sen. Moran only is available here; video clip of Sen. Carper is available here.
Below are the remarks and the vote:
“My colleagues, I arrive here at a request of many veteran service organizations and veterans across the country who have called for a long time for us to protect our military and veteran students and close the 90/10 loophole. What was once a partisan discussion is becoming a bipartisan discussion. And while the American Rescue plan closes the 90/10 loophole, we need to make sure we do it in the right way, make these changes in the correct way, and we need to ensure that we put the policy back in the perspective of not politics but the right answer. I am thankful to my colleagues Senators Carper and Cassidy and Lankford for putting that politics aside and working on this amendment with me. And I also want to thank Chairman Murray and Ranking Member Burr and their staffs, as well as the veterans groups and the stakeholders for their help in crafting this amendment. By providing a 6-month delay before the start of a negotiated rulemaking process, Congress now has time to work together with our veterans service organizations and the higher education community on a bipartisan plan to deliver reasonable and needed protections for veterans and taxpayers alike. I ask my colleagues to join us in support of our bipartisan amendment and continue to work with us on a path forward this Congress. I yield to the Senator from Delaware.”
“Colleagues, this is a special amendment. This may be the only bipartisan amendment we’ll have a chance to vote on today. And the really good news is it will be a voice vote. Mr. President, for the past decade our nation’s veterans service organizations have called on Congress to protect our military and veteran students and close something called the 90/10 loophole that you heard about. Today, at long last Congress heeds that call by harnessing market forces to ensure better educational opportunities and outcomes for our millions of veterans. Those millions of veterans and veteran students use our hard-earned educational benefits at a variety of educational institutions in our states, including the types of trade and vocational schools that my own father — and maybe your others as well — used in WWII and Korea and Vietnam, using the original GI Bill. Let me be clear, some for-profit schools in this country do a very good job working with our veterans, preparing them for lives and careers. Unfortunately we’ve seen way too many who do not. And what we want to do with this legislation is to make sure that the veterans are protected from the bad actors in the for-profit college sector, places like ITT Tech and Corinthian, places that no longer exist. While the American Rescue plan closes the 90/10 loophole, I understand, we understand the need to make sure we get this right. I’m grateful to our colleagues Jerry Moran, and I’m proud to be joining him along with Senators Cassidy and Lankford in a thoughtful bipartisan approach to a contentious issue. By providing a 6-month delay before the start of the negotiated rulemaking process, our amendment gives Congress time to work together with our veteran service organizations on a bipartisan plan to strengthen these protections for our veterans and taxpayers. We invite you all to join us in supporting this amendment.”
“The Senator from Delaware stole my thunder. I believe this amendment can pass by voice vote and I would add the request that the amendments that follow this follow the same precedent.” [Laughter]
“Questions on the amendment. All in favor say, ‘aye.’ All opposed, ‘no.’ The ayes appear to have it. The ayes do have it. And the amendment is agreed to.”
Read our press release on the legislation here.