As a longtime UC Irvine law professor, Congresswoman Porter has seen up close and personal how students go on to shape the future of Orange County.
In both Washington and Orange County, Congresswoman Porter has been a consistent advocate for students. In her first month in office, she met with students from Western State College of Law who were being defrauded by the school’s parent company, Dream Center. She’s held townhall events at UC Irvine and Concordia University Irvine to hear directly from students about the top issues that matter to them.
Congresswoman Porter has led the charge in holding Education Secretary Betsy DeVos accountable. Under Secretary DeVos, the Department of Education denied 99% of Public Service Loan Forgiveness applications—so she rallied 47 of her colleagues to demand answers. In addition, when Secretary DeVos threatened to withhold financial aid from 80,000 students in California, Congresswoman Porter led a group of California colleagues to fight back. Following her oversight, Secretary DeVos backed down, ensuring that these students received the financial assistance that they were promised.
Drawing from conversations with students, Congresswoman Porter introduced the CFPB Student Loan Integrity & Transparency Act of 2019, a bill to increase oversight of federal student loans servicers. She also introduced the Relief for Defrauded Students Act of 2019 which would make permanent a student loan forgiveness program for borrowers who were cheated by their schools.
To protect students struggling with mental health challenges, Congresswoman Porter introduced the Student Mental Health Rights Act. Under federal law, colleges and universities are not allowed to enact policies that discriminate against students because of their mental health needs. Congresswoman Porter’s legislation will help colleges and universities come into compliance with federal guidelines on mental health policies, resulting in better campus policies to support students.
To help tackle long-term problems facing higher education, Congresswoman Porter co-founded the College Affordability Caucus. The caucus focuses on identifying policies to tackle the student debt crisis and bring down the sticker price of higher education.