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Former Ohio Attorney General and Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Richard Cordray in Warren, Ohio, in 2018. Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

The Education Department announced Monday that former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) director Richard Cordray has been appointed chief operating officer of federal student aid.

Why it matters: The former Ohio gubernatorial candidate will oversee the $1.6 trillion portfolio of student loans and other financial aid programs in the high-profile role. His appointment was cheered by progressives who are pushing for the federal government to cancel student debt.

The big picture: President Biden has proposed canceling $10,000 of federal student loan debt for every borrower, but some Democrats want to go further.

  • Cordray has close ties to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who drove the establishment of the CFPB during the Obama administration and has been leading progressives' calls for an overhaul of the student loan system.

What they're saying: Warren tweeted that Cordray "was a fearless" CFPB "who forced big financial institutions to return $12 billion to people they cheated."

  • "I'm very glad he’ll be protecting student borrowers and bringing much-needed accountability to the federal student loan program," she added.
  • Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement, "Cordray has a strong track record as a dedicated public servant who can tackle big challenges and get results.
"I am confident that under his leadership, Federal Student Aid will provide the kind of service that our students, families, and schools deserve."
— Cardona

Go deeper

Aug 6, 2021 - Health

Supreme Court asked to weigh in on Indiana University vaccine mandate

The Indiana University campus. Photo: Don & Melinda Crawford/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A lawyer representing Indiana University students filed an emergency petition on Friday asking the Supreme Court to block the school’s vaccine mandate, one of many set to take effect this fall.

Why it matters: It's the first time the nation's high court has been asked to weigh in on the issue. Public and private entities are increasingly mandating vaccines amid surges in COVID cases due to the Delta variant.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Virginia attorney general fires Jan. 6 investigator from university post

McIntire Amphitheater at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. Photo: Robert Knopes/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The lead investigator for the Jan. 6 House select committee investigating the Capitol riot has been fired from his position as the University of Virginia's counsel by the state's new Republican attorney general, per the Washington Post.

Why it matters: Democrats say the removal of Tim Heaphy from his post after some three years while he's on leave from the university to investigate the insurrection is likely "retribution" for the House probe — an accusation strongly denied by the office of state Attorney General Jason Miyares (R).

4 hours ago - World

Taiwan's military scrambles jets after detecting 39 Chinese warplanes

J-20 stealth fighter jets in Zhuhai in the Guangdong Province of China last year. Photo: Chen Jimin/China News Service via Getty Images

Taiwan's defense force said 39 Chinese warplanes flew into its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Sunday.

Why it matters: The largest Chinese air force incursion into the zone since October came a day after the U.S. and Japanese navies conducted a joint exercise in the Philippine Sea.