“Student loan debt. I’m going to work to fix it. Because it’s outrageous what’s happening. You’re not given that fair start,” President Donald Trump said Thursday during an executive order signing event in the East Room of the White House.
“We’re going to work very, very hard to get it fixed. We’re going to start with 43 million people in the United States are currently working to pay off student loans, and we’ll be talking very soon,” Trump said.
At one point, he joked: “I’ve always been very good with loans. I love loans. I love other people’s money.”
The order also directs the department to come up with policy proposals that would hold colleges accountable for student outcomes.
Some research suggests that unlimited borrowing may encourage colleges to drive up the price of tuition. But Sen. Patty Murray, a Washington state Democrat who’s the ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, criticized the loan cap proposal. In a statement, she said it would “hurt students” and ignores the fact that most students can’t afford college without taking on debt.
Over the past two years, the administration has been criticized by Democrats as siding with for-profit colleges over students. Under DeVos, the Department of Education attempted to roll back an Obama-era rule designed to help students cheated by for-profit colleges get relief on their education debt.
CNN’s Maegan Vazquez contributed to this story.