The acting inspector general of the U.S. Education Department said in a letter Monday that her office would investigate Republican charges that senior department officials inappropriately encouraged college officials to support the proposed elimination of the Federal Family Education Loan Program. In asking the inspector general last month to conduct the review, Rep. John Kline, the senior Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee, expressed concerns that department officials may have exhorted community college and other leaders to lobby for the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which would shift all federal lending to the government's Direct Loan Program. A spokeswoman for Rep. George Miller of California, who heads the education committee, said in a news release late Monday that "[w]e believe the Department is acting in the best interests of students and families, especially as lenders continue to withdraw from the federal student lending business, and welcome the upcoming investigation."
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