Education and Labor Republicans Call Out FTC’s Unfair Treatment of For-Profit Colleges

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04), Education and Labor Committee Republican Leader Virginia Foxx (NC-05), Workforce Protections Subcommittee Republican Leader Fred Keller (PA-12), Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-02), and Rep. Michelle Steel (CA-48) sent a letter to Chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Linda Khan, expressing concern over the FTC’s revival of a decades old authority to go after for-profit colleges. Rather than holding all institutions accountable, this action is yet another example of the Biden administration’s attempt to shutdown schools simply because of their tax status.

In the letter, Members questioned the FTC’s radical new interpretation of Section 5 of the Penalty Offense Authority and why the FTC singled out 70 for-profit colleges, creating the false perception that these colleges engaged in wrongdoing. Additionally, with Former FTC Commissioner Mr. Rohit Chopra now being head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Members questioned the FTC’s ability to stay independent from the CFPB.

The Members wrote in the letter: The cases noted in the FTC’s notice of penalty offenses are 40 to 70 years old and provide no meaningful guidance to the regulated community given the significant changes that have occurred in the higher education landscape since this authority was last used.”

The Members asked: “How can the named institutions expect to be treated fairly in any action taken by the FTC after being named in this notice? Will the FTC commit to removing the list of institutions from its website?”

The Members stated: “The FTC is designed to be an independent executive branch agency and we are concerned that Mr. Chopra will attempt to influence FTC enforcement actions while at the CFPB.” 

Read the full letter here.

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