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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

A bipartisan group of attorneys general from 51 states, territories and the District of Columbia sent a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Friday, calling on her to automatically cancel disabled veterans' student debts.

Details: Disabled veterans' student loans are required by law to be discharged when requested. The provisions aren't automatic and "may prove insurmountable obstacles to relief for many eligible veterans due to the severe nature of their disabilities," according to the letter, signed by all state attorneys general except those from Alabama, Arizona and Texas.

The big picture: A Freedom of Information Act request filed by advocacy group Veterans Education Success shows more than 42,000 veterans are eligible for Total Permanent Disability status. Fewer than 9,000 people had applied by the start of May 2018 and more than 25,000 eligible veterans were in default, per USA Today.

The other side: The Education Department said in a statement to Reuters: "While 'automatic discharge' may seem like a simple solution, there are long-term impacts we want all veterans to have the chance to consider before their loans are discharged."

Go deeper

Scoop: Trump-backed Perdue says he wouldn’t have certified Georgia 2020 results

Perdue at a December 2020 campaign event in Columbus, Ga. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue wouldn’t have signed the certification of the state’s 2020 election results if he had been governor at the time, the former Senate Republican told Axios.

  • “Not with the information that was available at the time and not with the information that has come out now. They had plenty of time to investigate this. And I wouldn’t have signed it until those things had been investigated and that’s all we were asking for," he said.

Why it matters: There has been no evidence widespread fraud took place in Georgia's elections last year and the November results were counted three times, once by hand.

Beijing Olympics: These countries have announced diplomatic boycotts

Photo: Zhang Qiang/VCG via Getty Images

Several countries, including Canada and Australia, have announced they will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights abuses committed by China's government.

Driving the news: Leaders have faced pressure from human rights groups and others to boycott the Games, pointing to the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region and other abuses.

Biden directs federal government to become carbon neutral by 2050

President Biden speaking to reporters outside of the White House on Dec. 8.

President Biden signed an executive order Wednesday that requires the federal government achieve multiple goals related to reducing its carbon emissions, including achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Why it matters: Meeting the objectives of the order would require a massive investment by the federal government to buy electric vehicles, upgrade buildings and change how it procures electricity.

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