In her defense of for-profit colleges, U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx invoked the Holocaust, reports Libby A. Nelson, writing for Inside Higher Ed.
The Banner Elk Republican in a speech to the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities this week told leaders of the private, for-profit colleges that they should have opposed new rules proposed by the Obama administration, according to the report.
She then paraphrased German theologian Martin Niemöller, who criticized those who ignored Nazi persecution. Niemöller's quote: "First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a communist." Foxx's adaptation: "They came for the for-profits, and I didn't speak up."
Asked by Nelson if the Foxx meant to imply that the for-profit regulations were comparable to the Holocaust, her spokeswoman said, "Of course not."
Foxx is chair of the higher education subcommittee. The Obama administration has proposed rules to hold for-profits accountable for deceptive recruiting and high costs, which have led to high rates of student loan defaults.
Reporting on the issue, Huffington Post notes that two of Foxx's top three donors during the past election were affiliated with the for-profit industry.