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House GOP leaders Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Steve Scalise of Louisiana, and Kevin McCarthy of California.

You can't make this stuff up: After the Republican National Committee entirely skipped over passing a party platform this year at its convention, House Republicans have followed up with a flimsy one-page agenda most middle schoolers would be ashamed to pass off as a completed assignment.

The proposal, billed as “The Republican Commitment to America,” reaffirms the party's commitment to hoping against hope the coronavirus will disappear like a miracle and Republicans can reclaim the supposed glory of prepandemic times.

“Republicans helped build the greatest economy in a generation and the American way of life was thriving,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California said Tuesday. “We will do it again. That is our promise to you.” 

The document was nothing more than a series of slogans—Restore Our Way of Life, Rebuild the Greatest Economy in History, Renew the American Dream—undergirded by a series of substance-less one-liners such as promising to defeat the virus by "Tripling rapid COVID testing and developing a vaccine that is safe, effective, and available this year." Apparently, after six months of empty promises on testing, Republicans are finally going to turn things around—if only they can seize the House majority!

In fact, each substance-less aspiration had a check mark by it as if it were practically complete—just take their word for it.

Perhaps House Republicans, deeply aware that they have zero chance of retaking the majority following Donald Trump's criminal handling of the pandemic, just couldn't be bothered to put a serious proposal forward. But more than likely, they simply didn't have anything worthwhile to say. After decades of squeezing Ronald Reagan's “Morning in America” entirely dry, the GOP’s flower has finally wilted into a stub—a mere suggestion life may have once existed there. One day, maybe they’ll emit a poisonous odor, like on Venus, alerting scientists to signs of life. 

But after the GOP exploded the deficit and national debt through cutting taxes for the rich—long before the urgency of pandemic spending—House Republicans decided to drop all mentions of fiscal responsibility from their supposed agenda. And after failing miserably at repealing (not to mention replacing) the Affordable Care Act (ACA) when they had unified governmental control, Republicans finally dropped that Lucy-with-the football schtick from their wish list. Who knows—maybe it occurred to them that rallying around the destruction of Americans' health care in the midst of a pandemic might not be the brightest move. Whatever the case, they appear to have left destruction of the ACA to the courts, content to just cheer from the sidelines.

House Republicans similarly skipped over any mention of their desire to cut social safety net programs like Social Security and Medicare. That likely wasn't going to be a hot seller either amid Trump's pandemic recession.

If anything, the Republican "commitment" is now down to proclaiming their fealty to Trump, cutting taxes in perpetuity (debt be damned), and making completely unsupported promises about supporting education, workforce development, infrastructure (more infrastructure weeks!), and the health and welfare of American citizens. On the first two, mission accomplished. As for any of the others, House Republicans haven't introduced or passed a workable proposal for any of them in years, if not a decade-plus. In reality, they're too busy fighting with each other to do anything else but take occasional breaks to bow to Donald Trump. 

“Every day you see the damage of years of Democrat policies,” Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming said Tuesday at the unveiling—as if Donald Trump wasn't sitting in the White House and Republicans had any policies of their own.

News Source: dailykos.com

Tags: trump joebiden 2020 election covid 19 republicans coronavirus community vote gop gotv democrats senate pandemic kamalaharris progressives resistance populists media gop trump gop gop gop gop gop gop trump house republicans

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ITT Tech Students from Georgia to See Student Loan Relief After Agreement with Attorneys General

Attorney General Chris Carr has helped secure an agreement to obtain nearly $10 million in debt relief for former ITT Tech students in Georgia as part of a settlement with 47 other attorneys general and the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“This settlement provides debt relief to Georgia students and holds PEAKS Trust accountable for its role in subjecting ITT students to abusive lending practices,” said Attorney General Carr.

Nationally, the settlement will result in debt relief of about $330 million for 35,000 borrowers who have outstanding principal balances.

The settlement is with PEAKS Trust, a private loan program run by the for-profit college and affiliated with Deutsche Bank entities. ITT filed bankruptcy in 2016 amid investigations by state attorneys general and following action by the U.S. Department of Education to restrict ITT’s access to federal student aid. PEAKS was formed after the 2008 financial crisis when private sources of lending available to for-profit colleges dried up. ITT developed a plan with PEAKS to offer students temporary credit to cover the gap in tuition between federal student aid and the full cost of the education.

According to the Assurance of Voluntary Compliance filed Tuesday:

ITT and PEAKS knew or should have known that the students would not be able to repay the temporary credit when it became due nine months later. Many students complained that they thought the temporary credit was like a federal loan and would not be due until six months after they graduated.

When the temporary credit became due, ITT pressured and coerced students into accepting loans from PEAKS, which for many students carried high interest rates, far above rates for federal loans. Pressure tactics used by ITT included pulling students out of class and threatening to expel them if they did not accept the loan terms. Many of the ITT students were from low-income backgrounds and were left with the choice of enrolling in the PEAKS loans or dropping out and losing any benefit of the credits they had earned, because ITT’s credits would not transfer to most schools.

The default rate on the PEAKS loans is projected to exceed 80 percent, due to both the high cost of the loans as well as the lack of success ITT graduates had getting jobs that earned enough to make repayment feasible.  The defaulted loans continue to affect students’ credit ratings and are usually not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

Under the settlement, PEAKS has agreed that it will forgo collection of the outstanding loans and cease doing business. PEAKS will send notices to borrowers about the cancelled debt and ensure that automatic payments are cancelled.  The settlement also requires PEAKS to supply credit reporting agencies with information to update credit information for affected borrowers.

Students will need to do nothing to receive the debt relief. The notices will explain their rights under the settlement.  Students may direct questions to PEAKS at customerservice@peaksloans.com or 866-747-0273or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at (855) 411-2372.

In June 2019, Attorney General Carr was part of a 168 million dollar settlement that resulted in debt relief for 18,664 former ITT students. That agreement was with Student CU Connect CUSO, LLC, which also offered loans to finance students’ tuition at ITT Tech.

In addition to Georgia, the settlement was signed by the attorneys general of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

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