Republicans in Congress are promising oversight of the Biden administration now that they have officially secured control of the House of Representatives for the next two years.
Republicans are likely to hold a slim majority in the House of Representatives when the 118th Congress begins in January, while Democrats will still control the Senate and the White House. Experts doubt that any meaningful legislation will be adopted in the next two years. Still, higher education lobbyists and policy experts are expecting lawsuits challenging the new GOP majority’s student loan forgiveness and increased oversight of the U.S. Department of Education to set up the GOP to win in 2024.
Republicans in the House of Representatives held a press conference on Thursday about the business of Hunter, the son of President Biden. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is expected to be the next speaker of the House, mentioned a number of possible investigations they could conduct in an interview from Fox News on Wednesday night after news outlets predicted that Republicans would regain the majority in the House of Representatives.
Representative Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, who is expected to take the gavel on the House Education and Labor Committee, tweeted one word: “Supervision.”
In interviews and statements, Fox has made it clear that she believes Biden’s plan to forgive up to $10,000 in federal student loans for eligible Americans and up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients is illegal.
“Republicans will continue to fight this president’s abuses of executive power, including his attempt to keep 40 million borrowers in limbo and force taxpayers to foot the bill.” — Fox told USA Today. “The department just can’t keep kicking that can down the road.”
On Thursday, Foxx and Missouri Rep. Jason Smith, who chairs the House Budget Committee, told The White House Office of Management and Budget will retain all documents related to the debt repayment plan.
“It is critical that the Biden administration be as transparent as possible with the American people about the projected costs and economic impacts associated with this policy, including how such financial impacts are factored into the deliberations and finalization of the policy,” they said. leaves. . “For example, after a full year of runaway inflation with no sign of abating anytime soon, Americans deserve to know whether OMB has considered how these actions will worsen inflation.”
Fox has chaired the committee before, but to do so again, he would have to get a recusal from the party leadership. House Republican Party rules limit members to three consecutive terms in committee leadership positions. Some mass media retail outlets announced before the election that she might not win the waiver, but several lobbyists expect her to win.
House Republicans will be able to sue the administration over the student loan forgiveness plan that federal judges recently halted.
But a narrow majority will make it difficult for Republicans to rule the House, as the party leadership must build consensus among a diverse group of representatives and attract both more conservative members and moderates.
“We know the Republicans are going to govern, but what they’re going to be able to do and what they’re going to do is much less certain than I would have guessed a couple of weeks ago,” said Terry Hartle, senior vice president for government affairs and public affairs. American Council on Education.
Hartle added that McCarthy received 188 votes to be speaker of the next Congress, short of the 218 votes he needed in the House in January.
“I think he’s likely to be the speaker of the House, but the conservatives have made it clear that they’re going to get a price, and that price could be changes to the caucus rules that will make life much more difficult for newly elected moderate Republicans,” Hartle said. .
Hartle said significant action on major parts of the legislation is unlikely.
“But we’re going to see a lot of hearings and investigations to address the issues that concern House Republicans,” he added.
There were Republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate vocals in their confrontation of the department of Art major repairs regulations related to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which were enacted this summer and changed the way colleges investigate reports of sexual assault and expanded protections for LGBTQ+ students. The expansion of discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity was a controversial change in the proposed rules and drew thousands of comments against it.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said the department is proposing a separate set of rules governing the participation of transgender students in athletics.
Several Republican candidates have talked about changes in campaign ads and speeches. The House Republican campaign platform includes “ensuring that only women can compete in women’s sports.”
Meanwhile, higher education associations would like Congress to address graduate student loan interest rates, double Pell grants, establish Pell grants for short-term study programs and restore the Higher Education Act of 1965, among other legislative priorities.
“We’ll be watching, like every other industry with representation in Washington, to see what the Republicans do when they officially take control in January,” Hartle said.
Hartle said House Republicans met with higher education associations on Election Day to learn about their priorities. At this meeting, Republicans in Congress expected that a “red wave” would carry them into the majority.
“They’re reconfiguring what they think they can and want to do given a smaller majority than they expected,” he said.
Other management steps
Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that she will not seek another term as House Democratic leader, clearing the way for a new generation of Democratic leaders. Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York is likely to be the minority leader.
On the Senate side, independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is caucus with Democrats, plans to lead the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, a spokeswoman said Thursday. Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the current committee chair, is moving into a leadership position on the Senate Appropriations Committee.
“As chairman of the committee, he will focus on universal health care, reducing the cost of prescription drugs, expanding access to higher education and protecting workers’ rights at work,” the spokesman told reporters.
Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana will be one of the ranking members of the committee.