House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) today sent aletter to President Barack Obama seeking information on his plans to use executive authority to advance the administration’s preferred higher education policies.
Chairman Kline said, “Last summer we successfully worked with the Senate and the administration to enact a new law that cuts student loan interest rates and provides stability for borrowers. Through the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, we have an opportunity to build upon that bipartisan accomplishment and develop comprehensive policies to strengthen the nation’s higher education system for future generations. But we need the president to be an ally in that effort – not obstruct legislative progress with executive actions and reckless rulemakings.”
“The president needs to work with Congress so that we can bring the higher education community together and find common ground as we reauthorize the Higher Education Act this year. Unfortunately, we are off to a difficult start,” Rep. Foxx said. “The president’s repeated threats to circumvent Congress and the failure of his Department of Education to submit any plan or goals for the reauthorization are worrisome indicators. It’s my hope that they will come to the table and help us forge bipartisan solutions to the pressing issues we face in higher education.”
In the letter, Chairman Kline and Rep. Foxx write:
As we continue moving forward with our efforts to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, we hope to work in partnership with the administration to craft policies that will strengthen the law for students, families, teachers, and college leaders. However, your recent threats to circumvent Congress are a major obstacle in this process… We are disappointed the administration would threaten to subvert Congress on higher education policy... Instead, the department continues to propose prescriptive, one-size-fits-all policies that not only ignore the realities of our nation’s diverse higher education system, but are also strongly opposed by many higher education stakeholders.
The leaders request a briefing from the White House Domestic Policy Council later this month on the administration’s plans for future executive actions, as well as additional summits with higher education stakeholders.