161 House Republicans Voted to Abolish Education Dept., 60 GOP Voted to Keep It

(CNSNews.com) — Republicans in Congress have said for decades that they want to abolish the federal Department of Education, which was established in 1979 under President Jimmy Carter (D) and operates now on a $68 billion budget.

When given the opportunity to vote on the issue last week, 161 House Republicans voted to end the department but 60 Republicans voted to keep it, as did 205 House Democrats. 

House Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) introduced the bill to end the Department of Education. The legislation simply said, “The Department of Education shall terminate on December 31, 2023.” Massie had introduced indentical bills in 2017 and 2021.

Massie’s 2023 language was offered as an amendment to the Parents’ Bill of Rights on March 24 in the House.

As the Roll Call vote shows, 161 House Republicans voted yes, in support of the amendment to end the department and 60 GOP members voted no, to not support the proposal.  Those 60 Republicans joined with 205 House Democrats to prevent passage of the legislation.


The final vote was 265-161 against ending the department.

Among the Republicans voting with Democrats to keep the Department of Education was Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who is also the Chair of the House Republican Conference.

Other Republicans who voted to keep the department include Rep. Bryan Steil (Wisc.), Rep. Glenn Thompson (Penn.), Rep. Michael Turner (Ohio), Rep. ann Wagner (Mo.), Rep. Brandon Williams (N.Y.), Rep. Steve Womack (Ark.), Rep. Don Bacon (Neb.), Rep. Stephanie Bice (Okla.), and Rep. John Carter (Tex.). 

See the Roll Call vote here

After the vote, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) tweeted, “Why would any Republican vote against this?”

Rep. Massie tweeted, “The House just voted on whether we should end the federal Department of Education’s authority to control elementary and secondary education. Removing federal red tape and unfunded mandates would empower parents, teachers, states, and school boards.”

In a second tweet, Massie wrote, “Although this measure did not pass, I consider it a success that a majority of the majority (161 Republicans) recognized our children are best served when schools have more local control. Students win when parents can know and influence what’s being taught.”

According to a Pew Research Center report from 2017, for 15-year-old students, the U.S. placed “an unimpressive 38th out of 71 countries in math and 24th in science.”

“Among the 35 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which sponsors the PISA [Programme for International Student Assessment] initiative, the U.S. ranked 30th in math and 19th in science,” reported Pew. 

In another test for math and science, “10 countries (out of 48 total) had statistically higher average fourth-grade math scores than the U.S., while seven countries had higher average science scores,” said Pew. “In the eighth-grade tests, seven out of 37 countries had statistically higher average math scores than the U.S., and seven had higher science scores.”

In mathematics, the U.S. ranked 38th, below such countries as Singapore, Taiwan, Estonia, Canada, Netherlands, Finland, Denmark, Slovenia, Poland, Vietnam, Russia, Iceland, Latvia, Malta, and Hungary. 


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