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The Department of Education on Friday issued a new delay of the Obama administration's borrower defense rule that would block it from going into effect until the conclusion of a bureaucratic rewrite of the rule expected to conclude by 2019.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced in June that she would block the rule, which was set to go into effect July 1. She also said she would appoint a negotiated rulemaking committee to produce a new regulation that would reflect the concerns of many higher ed institutions.

That announcement cited an ongoing legal challenge from an association of California for-profit colleges and a section of the Administrative Procedures Act allowing for delay of the effective date of a new federal rule pending judicial review. But the new effective date of the rule was July 1, 2018. The proposal released by the department Friday, called an interim final rule, would further push back that date to July 1, 2019. The department cited the timeline of the negotiated rulemaking process, which begins this fall, in making the additional delay. 

Sen. Patty Murray, the ranking Democrat on the Senate education committee, blasted the new delay Friday.

“Given the significant number of former for-profit college executives employed by the Department of Education, it’s no surprise Secretary DeVos is doubling down on her commitment to put corporations’ bottoms lines ahead of students and borrowers’ best interests," she said. "Instead of giving predatory corporations the green light to continue to take advantage of students, Secretary DeVos needs to stop these outrageous delays and start providing relief to the tens of thousands of students who have been cheated out of their education and savings.”

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