Elizabeth Warren rips into CEO of student debt collecting company to his face: You should be fired

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Graig Graziosi
·2 min read
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 (EPA)
(EPA)

US Senator Elizabeth Warren blasted the head of a student loan provider during a Congressional hearing, telling him he should be out of a job.

Senate Democrats met on Tuesday to make the case for cancelling some student loan debt, hoping the relief would help stimulate the coronavirus-battered economy, and provide relief for those struggling under financial strain caused by the pandemic.

Specifically, Democrats were discussing Joe Biden's plan to forgive up to $50,000 of student loan debt.

Ms Warren centred her questioning on John Remondi, the CEO of Navient, one of the nation's largest student loan providers.

During her questioning, she pointed to a number of state investigations aimed at Navient, and noted that the company was recently ordered to pay back $22.3m in student loan subsidies it took from the federal government.

“Mr Remondi, if a person who worked at the Department of Education stole $22.3m, they’d be fired,” she said. “Can you explain why your government contracts haven’t been cancelled and why Navient has continued to reward you personally with nearly $40m in compensation since 2014, even as these scandals pile up?”

She suggested the company fire him as he sat listening.

Mr Remondi said some of Ms Warren's claims were incorrect and maintained that the purpose of his company was to help borrowers.

Later in the hearing, Ms Warren focused her questioning on James Steeley, the CEO of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, one of the nation's largest servicers for the federal government's federal student loan forgiveness programme.

She highlighted several lawsuits aimed at the agency, as well as Education Department audits, that allege it has been under-counting borrower's repayments when assessing their eligibility for forgiveness.

As a result, 98 per cent of individuals filing for student loan forgiveness have been rejected.

Mr Steeley said those reports were inaccurate, but did not elaborate on how or why they were not accurate.

Under Mr Biden's plan, more than 36 million Americans - roughly 80 per cent of all borrowers - would have their debts completely erased, according to data from the US Department of Education.

Senate Democrats have been pressuring Mr Biden to enact the plan using executive action.

During his campaign, Mr Biden backed down from his push for $50,000 in loan forgiveness and instead suggested $10,000 of forgiveness.

This would eliminate the debts of 15 million borrowers.

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