Sen. Tom Carper sent a letter Oct. 6 urging Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin to rescind a proposed action in the Federal Register that would waive the ethics requirements prohibiting VA employees from receiving financial benefits from for-profit colleges.

Under current law, to protect against potential conflicts of interest, VA employees are prohibited from receiving salary, wages, dividends, profits and services from for-profit colleges unless they receive a waiver from the VA. In a recent notice in the Federal Register, VA announced it would waive the statute and allow all VA employees to receive financial benefits from for-profit colleges.

“It would be a step in the wrong direction, as well as legally dubious, to waive the statute without input or approval from Congress,” Carper wrote. “Allowing all VA employees to accept ‘wages, salary, dividends, profits, gratuities,’ and even ownership interests from for-profit colleges is drastic departure from the intent of Congress and weakens important ethics standards designed to protect VA employees and veterans. I urge you to withdraw this proposal from the Federal Register as soon as possible.”

The full text of the letter is available at