Rep. Massie introduced a bill to eliminate the Department of Education.
Several Republicans support the measure.
Eliminating a government agency is nearly impossible, experts say.
Reagan tried and failed to kill the Education Dept.
(NewsReady.com) – The Department of Education collects data on schools across the United States. It sets standards for education across the country to some degree (states have a lot of leeway). The agency also prohibits discrimination in schools, distributes financial aid, backs student loans, and establishes policies for the aid.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) doesn’t believe the Department of Education has a place in the federal government. He has repeatedly introduced legislation to eliminate it. He reintroduced a bill to do just that in the 118th Congress. Actually, killing a government agency is incredibly difficult.
On February 14, Massie announced he introduced H.R. 899 to terminate the department. He claimed, “There is no Constitutional authority for this federal bureaucracy to exist.”
I have introduced a bill to terminate the Department of Education.
There is no Constitutional authority for this federal bureaucracy to exist. pic.twitter.com/xKWHgPfVnq
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) February 14, 2023
A press release from Massie states the new bill is just one sentence long and states, “The Department of Education shall terminate on December 31, 2023.” The congressman explained that he doesn’t believe unelected government officials should have any say over “our children’s intellectual and moral development.”
The lawmaker believes states and local governments know far more about what the students in their communities need. Further, he said parents should be able to “choose the most appropriate educational opportunity for their children.”
Department of Education
In 1980, the federal government created the Dept. of Ed by combining several agencies together, much like the creation of the Department of Homeland Security after September 11, 2001. After each president wins their election, they are allowed to appoint someone to head the department. That person is a Cabinet-level secretary.
The press release from Massie’s office argued the US needs to eliminate the department to shrink the government. It also attacked the Department of Energy, claiming that it’s not necessary either.
Killing a Federal Agency
Though Massie introduced the one sentence, it’s much more difficult to actually eliminate a federal agency entirely. During former President Ronald Reagan’s administration, he tried to eliminate the Departments of Education and Energy. At that point, they were fairly new, but that didn’t matter.
According to POLITICO, not only did Reagan fail to kill the two departments, but he was also pressured into making the Department of Veterans Affairs a Cabinet-level agency. Experts claimed the actual act of eliminating a government agency, especially a Cabinet position, is almost impossible.
The current bill has almost no chance of passing because Democrats control both the Senate and White House. It’s not clear if House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) will bring it to the floor for a vote.
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