04.13.11

HELP Committee Republicans Criticize Majority for “Disorganized and Prejudicial Hearings” on For-Profit Education

“Hearings Lack Objectivity or Any Clear Goals”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Republicans on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, led by Ranking Member Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), sent a letter today to Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) to express disappointment in the way the Majority has conducted a series of “disorganized and prejudicial” hearings on for-profit educational institutions.  The other members of the committee who signed the letter include Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.).

“We agree that there are serious problems in higher education, particularly with some schools in the for-profit sector,” the Republican members of the committee wrote.  “However, the need to address these problems does not warrant the biased and unprofessional conduct we have witnessed during the past four hearings.  It is unacceptable and uncharacteristic of the way this committee or this institution has historically conducted its business.”

The Republican members requested that the chairman work with them to find constructive solutions to the problems faced by all institutions of higher education.  “If you decline this request, we will not participate in the next hearing on for-profit institutions,” the Senators wrote.  “It is the Majority’s responsibility to conduct fair and objective hearings that ensure the integrity of our work, and assist each of us in finding solutions to the challenges facing our nation.”

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