New York Times: Veterans Agency Seeks to Scrap Ethics Law on For-Profit Colleges


The Department of Veterans Affairs is pushing to suspend a 50-year-old ethics law that prevents employees from receiving money or owning a stake in for-profit colleges that pocket hundreds of millions of dollars in tuition paid through the G.I. Bill of Rights.


“It’s just reckless and sloppy,” said Walter M. Shaub Jr., a former director of the Office of Government Ethics, said of the agency’s action. He questioned why such a blanket exception for more than 330,000 agency employees should exist when the law allows waivers for individuals or even classes of individuals, like those teaching courses. Invoking the waiver also requires public hearings, he said.

Most troubling to Mr. Shaub, now senior counsel at the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, is that the move seems like an attempt by the executive branch to overrule the legislative branch. “They are saying the statute is unreasonable, but that’s not for them to say,” he said of agency officials.

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