Virginia Foxx recaptures the chair of the House Education Committee

diving letter:

  • Rep. Virginia Foxx, a Republican from North Carolina, was re-elected chair of the House Education and the Workforce Committee on Monday, and she wasted no time in warning President Joe Biden’s administration that Department of Education officials will answer their questions .
  • “To Biden administration officials: Consider investing in a parking lot on Capitol Hill — you’ll be here often.” Foxx said in a statement. “Implementing vigorous and sustained oversight of the federal government, particularly the Departments of Education and Labor, will be among my top priorities.”
  • Foxx also called for a halt to the government’s regulatory agenda, which she called “reckless and destructive.”

Dive insight:

Foxx has been the presumptive chairman of the House Education Committee since Republicans took control of the chamber in November’s election. She previously chaired the committee from 2017 to 2019, before Democrats took control of the House and handed leadership of the committee, which they called the Education and Labor Committee, to Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia.

Rep. Tim Walberg, a Michigan Republican, challenged Foxx for the presidency, which she could only serve with a waiver because of Republican term limits. The GOP Steering Committee late selection of a candidate for several controversial committee chairs, including education, while Republicans settled a protracted dispute over who would be the House Speaker.

If history is any indicator, Foxx’s selection signals scrutiny and bombast aimed at the Biden administration and the usual in higher education.

Foxx has been one of the most outspoken critics of Biden’s plan to forgive up to $20,000 of federal student loan debt for individuals earning up to $125,000 annually. She called the program a “slap in the face” to those who didn’t go to college or pay off their post-Biden loans announced the plan in August.

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She has attempted to scale back the federal student loan system with legislation that would restrict the types of repayment plans offered to students. These include proposals to abolish the troubled government loan forgiveness program and end a loan program that allows graduate students to borrow up to the total cost of college attendance, known as Graduate PLUS loans.

The Republican proposal would also end interest capitalization, which adds unpaid interest to loan principal amounts. Notably, the Biden administration has also attempted to limit interest capitalization, Use of Regulatory Paraphrases to try to block capitalization where it is not required by law.

Foxx previously staked a position in support of short-term Pell Grants, or Workforce Pell Grantswhich would allow federal student aid to be applied to programs as short as 150 hours over eight weeks.

Ensuring that federal dollars flow into quality programs has been a sticking point in previous short-term Pell negotiations. During an earlier push for the change, Foxx said attempts to exclude for-profit and online colleges from the program would unfairly select winners and losers.

Foxx has also signaled intentions to use her position to analyze colleges’ actions.

she called “Outrageous and unacceptable,” according to a congressional watchdog last year Most colleges do not provide accurate information about their offers of financial assistance. And she belonged to a group of Republicans who asked the Department of Education in October to explain how it works to support academic freedom on college campuses, arguing the agency does not appear to encourage the free exchange of ideas.

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“I am deeply honored by the trust of my colleagues to chair a committee whose work touches the lives of every American,” Foxx said Monday. “I don’t take that trust or that responsibility lightly. I will use my position to protect the rights of workers, job seekers, students and parents.”